Numbers have fallen for the first 12 months since entry levies were increased by the Casino Regulatory Authority.
Singapore.- Fewer locals are visiting casinos in Singapore since the entry levies were increased by the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA).
The daily levy was hiked from SG$100 (US$73.14) to SG$150 (US$109.72), and annual levy from SG$2,000 (US$1,463) to SG$3,000 (US$2,194.50) when the regulator authorised the expansions of Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore in 2019.
During the first 12 months since the changes, the proportion of visits from Singapore citizens and residents fell from 4 per cent in 2018, to 2.7 per cent.
CRA chairman Tan Tee How said: “Since the casinos opened in 2010, the probable problem and pathological gambling rate has decreased from 2.6 per cent to 0.9 per cent in 2017. This suggests that the social safeguards have been effective.”
In the 2019-20 report, the CRA said it has charged casinos a total of SG$165,000 (US$120,698) in fines, including SG$125,000 (US$91,438) to Marina Bay Sands for failure to implement an approved system for collection of the entry levy.
Singapore is set to establish a new gaming regulator, The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), in 2021 to replace the CRA.
The change is due to recent trends in the local market that deepened with the pandemic, including the popularisation of esports, increased accessibility to gambling products through the internet and mobile devices, and a change in customer preferences resulting in a convergence between gambling and gaming with gambling elements, such as loot boxes.
How said: “Having comprehensive transformation plans alone is not sufficient. To ensure a successful transformation to GRA, it is also essential that our officers have a strong transformative mindset, where they possess the drive and will to try out new ways of doing things even when the existing ways are working well.”