From a purely academic standpoint, legalised gambling began in the United States out of a desire to bring a little more decorum to poker than the non-negotiable: “My Colt-45 beats your four aces.”
Very quickly, governments all over the world realised that gambling, if severely taxed and zealously regulated, could prove a boon to public balance sheets.
The desire to create something out of nothing based on nothing more than dumb luck and “a hunch” has generally proven irresistible to human beings the world over.
The above hypothesis must be tempered against the notion that many religionists think, which is, gambling is the best way to create nothing out of something.
Gambling as a business must also be distinguished from the business that is gambling as in, say, playing the stock markets or betting on horses.
In any case, all this probably explains why P.T. Barnum, allegedly the Greatest Showman on Earth, coined the phrase: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
A qualified corollary to that saying is “a sucker and his money are soon parted”. Casinos have taken it one step further arguing that it was “morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money if he entered a casino in the first place”.
The 2009 global financial crisis hit many countries hard. One such nation was Singapore which then began looking for an industry that was recession proof.
You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist in the People’s Action Party to get it, and the island introduced two casinos dubbed “integrated resorts” because they boasted other facilities like theme parks and the like.
It worked spectacularly. Wikipedia, my general reference of choice, describes the Singapore integrated resorts as some of “the most profitable casinos in the world.”
With that in mind, you would expect the casinos to pull out all the stops, right? I mean, giving back something to the customer is sound business sense and quite moral to boot. It’s even quoted in the Bible: “It is in giving that you receive”.
So now you might understand the sheer scope, the imagination, of the idea embodied in the next sentence.
Six toilets at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore have received the six-star rating from the Restroom Association of Singapore – RASA to its friends and admirers. Indeed, it’s the first toilets in Singapore to be awarded its top rating.
Under the toilet grading system, six-star or “magnificent restrooms” are expected to use smart technology and employ cleaners who have completed a Workforce Skills Qualification module in washroom cleaning.
You need a diploma to clean toilets? Well, only in Singapore.
Everything is all very IT and so Applesque that you’d think Steve Jobs had miraculously been resurrected. I mean, these toilets have detectors which measure the level of ammonia in the air only to relay this information to cleaners via SMS.
Once odour levels exceed a certain threshold, a text message goes to the cleaners with information about which toilet is affected. Said toilet then plays the theme song from Ghostbusters. In short, nothing is left to chance.
Of course, there can be too much of a good thing. One employee got so carried away by Elon Musk’s predictions of a “paperless” future that he had to be dissuaded from removing all the toilet paper from said rest rooms.
Now consider, if you will, how the toilet rating agency might react to being asked to rate local Malaysian rest rooms.
The whole experiment was called off after the restrooms at the budget terminal were given an F9 rating with a “OMG, I’m out of here” outlook.