Singaporean residents not much interested to play slots at local casinos

Gaming Floor at Marina Bay Sands Casino SIngapore
Gaming Floor at Marina Bay Sands Casino Singapore

As the year came to an end it showed an amazing result of interest to local casinos at Singapore. This study conducted by Singapore Totalisator Board or Tote Board shows that local residents have least interest to visit land casinos to play slots or any other games.

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.

There is decrease in entry fee collections

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.

The fact that the entry fee total has consistently declined in each of the last five annual reports strongly suggests that the novelty of casino gambling has worn off, at least with local residents. The fact that problem gamblers’ families can apply to have their relatives banned from entering casinos may also play a role.

According to some problem gambling counsellors say the desire to avoid paying the entry fee is prompting gamblers to bypass the casinos and seek out other gambling options, including levy-free shipboard casinos and unauthorized online gambling sites.

Decline in lottery, races and sports betting at land venues

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.

Race betting was also on the decline, with turnover falling 11% year-on-year to S$1.22b. Race betting’s decline has been even more pronounced over the past five years, falling more than one-fifth since 2012-13.

Racing’s fall may also have to do with punters seeking out more attractive offers from unauthorized online betting sites. Singapore’s lottery and sports betting proved to be one of the market’s bright spots, with turnover up 2.5% year-on-year to S$7.2b. While the Tote Board doesn’t break out how much of this activity is sports betting, the combined total has improved in each of the last five years, and is up roughly S$1b since 2012-13.

Players go for online and mobile gambling

Online casino Singapore

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 at online and mobile casinos.

But you need to remember 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 at online casinos exceeds multiple times what is spent on legal gambling options.

Singapore’s Tote Board

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.

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