SINGAPORE - Concern over law and order in the Rowell Road area - known for its karaoke lounges and nightclubs - has led police to turn down a public-entertainment licence of at least one tenant.
The shutters came down on bar and dance club Broadcast HQ in May, soon after it was found to have allowed DJs to spin music on its premises illegally.
It applied for the appropriate Category 1 Public Entertainment (PE) Licence, which would allow it to have live performances and hire DJs, but this was rejected. A subsequent appeal was also turned down.
The company, which opened in June last year, already had a Category 2 licence, which lets it play recorded music without a DJ but did not allow its customers to dance.
The company announced its closure and move to Perth through a blog post. It claimed that it was told by the police that Category 1 licences were no longer being issued in the area due to complaints about existing entertainment outlets.
In a MyPaper interview, Broadcast HQ's director, Mr George Grover, asked: "What is being regulated, and why?"
"There are many music lounges and KTV bars in our area which presumably operate under a Category 1 licence, including our next-door neighbours so we didn't think we'd have an issue."
Asked if there was a ban on issuing Category 1 licences in the street, a Singapore Police Force spokesman said that such applications were assessed on a case-by-case basis.
When MyPaper visited the area yesterday, several women were sitting in a shophouse, close to where Broadcast HQ operated, welcoming men who walked in. The area was also dominated by KTV lounges.
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