The Singapore Totalisator Board, responsible for managing Singapore’s casino entry levy, reported an increase in funds collected in the fiscal year ending March 31. This amount exceeded the pre-pandemic figures, indicating a recovery in the sector.
In April 2019, just before the pandemic, Singapore raised the fees for 24-hour access and yearly passes by 50%. This hike in fees brought the total collected in the latest fiscal year to SGD147.31 million (US$108.85 million). This is a significant increase from the SGD125.47 million collected in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The levy, applicable to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, is required for entry into gaming facilities at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. Previously, the Tote Board reported collections of SGD114.07 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, SGD116.61 million in 2019-20, nearly SGD124.93 million in 2018-19, and around SGD130.9 million in 2017-18.
In conjunction with extending the casino duopoly until 2030, Singapore authorities raised these entry levies in April 2019. This move aimed to reduce the social impact of problem gambling. The cost for 24-hour access increased from SGD100 to SGD150, while the annual pass went from SGD2,000 to SGD3,000.
Visitorship data, as reported by the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), shows a decline and subsequent recovery in casino visits. In 2018, 127,000 Singapore citizens or permanent residents (referred to as SCPRs) visited the casinos. This number dropped to 79,000 in 2020 but recovered to 104,000 in 2022.
Tan Tee How, GRA Chairman, in his report, emphasized that the increased entry levies were a preemptive measure to control problem gambling. He noted that despite the levy increase, the percentage of SCPRs visiting casinos in 2022 was only around 3.2% of the adult population in Singapore. He said:
“As part of our commitment to keep problem gambling under control, the Singapore government increased the casino entry levies by 50 percent as a pre-emptive measure back in April 2019,” adding that:
“Following the implementation of the increased entry levies, casino visitorship by Singapore citizens and permanent residents… continues to remain low, with the number of SCPRs who visited the casinos in 2022 constituting only around 3.2 percent of the Singapore adult population.”
The Singapore Totalisator Board, a government agency in Singapore, possesses the exclusive authority to conduct horse racing and totalisator operations. These activities are managed through its agent and proprietary club, the Singapore Turf Club. Additionally, the Board oversees operations of 4D, TOTO, Singapore Sweep, and sports betting, which are carried out by its agent and fully-owned subsidiary, Singapore Pools (Private) Limited.
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