Singapore is among the fastest growing economies in the world. It's secret? Casino's.
According to the World Economic Outlook by the IMF, Singapore's economy grew 14.5 % in 2010. Only Qatar (+16.3) and Paraguay (+15.3) had higher growth numbers. Beside Singapore's traditional economic champion-sectors, it's industry and harbour, gambling became the third driving force behind the small state's economic success.
At first, the local population opposed the exploitation of gambling. But after the construction of two new casino's, hundreds of thousands of Asians came to Singapore. Resulting in additional profits of 5.8 billion dollars.
Singapore's success inspired Taiwan to legalise casino's on the small islands of Matsu and Kinmen, after the Chinese government announced that it's citizens will be allowed to travel alone to these destinations, instead of in the current group trips. This way, also Taiwan hopes to benefit from the fast growing, wealthy and gambling minded Chinese middle class. And thus copy the secret of Singapore.