Casino entry levies have been raised by 50 percent, following the lowest-ever collections since the casinos at Resorts Wold Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands were opened in 2010.
Singaporeans and permanent residents will now have to pay S$150- up from S$100 – to enter these casinos for 24hours.
The annual entry level – a levy paid for one year of access to the casinos – has been raised from S$2000 to S$3000.
This government says that it is raising the levies to keep problem gambling under control.
With the initial levies in place, problem gambling dropped from 2.6 percent to 0.9 percent in 2017 – a 170 percent drop.
Meanwhile, earnings from entry levies dropped to their lowest – a 21 percent dip from a high of S$170 million per year when the casinos first opened to S$134 million per year in 2017.
Many have questioned the purpose of the increase, if the aim is to deter problem gambling.
Said Fred Chow:
“Increasing the daily levy by S$50 is not going to deter gamblers. That’s wishful thinking.”
Amanda Soh said:
“If the government is serious, then it should put a limit on the number of times a Singaporean can visit the casinos. I don’t think they can claim that this increase causes less people to want to gamble.”
Some believe that the government’s aim is to increase Tote Board takings rather than deter problem gambling.
Said Li Siu Hoon:
“The drop in collections by S$44 million per year is almost enough to pay ministers’ salaries for a year. It’s not a small sum hor!”