Local Casinos Less Attractive to Singaporeans, Decrease in Entry Fee Collections Shows

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 6:36 AM

Casino News Daily
Local Casinos Less Attractive to Singaporeans, Decrease in Entry Fee Collections Shows

The initial interest in casino gambling seems to have worn off among Singaporeans and permanent residents, figures released by the Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board) showed. Citing data from the board’s financial report for the financial year ended March 31, 2017, local media reported that the government agency collected S$134 million in casino entry levies during the reviewed period.

The figure represented a 21% drop from the S$170 million reported for the financial year ended March 31, 2013.

Singapore’s Tote Board was established in the 1990. The government-run agency is tasked with operating the provision of horse racing and totalisator services to local customers through the Singapore Turf Club. It is also in charge of the 4D, TOTO, and Singapore Sweep brands as well as of sports betting through its subsidiary Singapore Pools.

Last but not least, the agency is also responsible for the collection of the so-called casino entry levy from the nation’s two integrated casino resorts – Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.

Under Singapore’s gambling laws, Singaporeans and permanent residents are required to pay the amount of S$100 in a daily levy in order to be admitted to the floors of local casinos or a S$2,000 full-year levy for the same purpose. The measure was introduced to deter residents of the country from falling victims to excessive gambling.

Responsible Gambling and Singapore’s Casino Industry

Singapore legalized casino gambling in the mid-2000s. The nation’s two integrated resorts opened doors in 2010. According to data released by the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore, around 17,000 residents visited the casino floors per day in 2012, down from 20,000 average daily visits in 2010. As seen from the decrease in casino entry levy collections, the number of visits from Singaporeans and permanent residents has decreased even further over the past several years.

According to analysts, interest in the two land-based casinos has worn off over the years and the introduction of a casino entry levy could be pointed to as the reason for this.

It was also found out that while casino gambling may be experiencing a downfall, other gambling services have been attracting quite a lot of interest among customers. According to official data, sports betting and wagering on lotteries have been particularly popular over the past several years.

Analysts have pointed out that there is another trend among Singaporeans that may have affected interest in land-based casino gambling. It is believed that many players and bettors have felt tempted to gamble online. Here it is important to note that online gambling is illegal under Singapore’s laws, which means that customers are wagering their funds on the websites of unregulated operators. Experts fear that the money spent on online gambling exceeds multiple times what is spent on legal gambling options.

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