The State of Fun? Exclusive Casino Urbanism and Its Biopolitical Borders in Singapore

Juan Zhang, Brenda S.A. Yeoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)


This paper interrogates the exclusionary politics of casino urbanism in Singapore, especially in terms of how this particular brand of urbanism reproduces disciplinary regimes through the uneven consumption of fun and leisure. Singapore’s vision of becoming a world-class “state of fun” is accompanied by increasingly sophisticated measures of boundary making between global leisure citizens and the excluded others, often comprised of the working class and those deemed to be at risk or lacking self-control and responsibility. The evolving biopolitical borders coincide with the multiple borders set up around Singapore’s casino spaces, ensuring the exclusive consumption of Singapore’s casino urbanism by the wealthy few. The fun regimes help to normalize social exclusion, moralize disciplinary control, and give legitimacy to the new class of global consumers under the operations of the state-capital apparatus. This paper argues that exclusive casino urbanism has broader social and political implications on issues of equality, accessibility, and urban participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-723
Number of pages23
JournalPacific Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date1 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Biopolitical borders
  • Casinos
  • Discipline
  • Fun
  • Gambling
  • Integrated resorts
  • Singapore
  • Tourism
  • Urbanism


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