Among other amendments, the new bill will have casino tax rates raised and the exclusivity period of the state’s two Integrated Resorts (IRs) extended until 2030.
The amendments were initially proposed in 2019 under agreements signed by operators Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore with the Singapore Tourism Board for the expansion of their respective IRs – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
The changes will impose a new tiered tax system, according to which the current 15% tax rate for mass gaming will be increased to 18% for the first SG$3.1bn (US$2.29bn) in gross gaming revenue and 22% for any amount above.
Premium gaming revenue, which is currently taxed at 5%, will increase to 8% for the first SG$2.4bn and 12% thereafter. Premium gaming revenue is defined as that which derives from customers with over SG$100,000 deposited in their casino accounts.
Back in 2019, after the initial agreements were signed, a 50% increase to the entry level for locals was implemented, with the levy for each 24-hour period increased from SG$100 to SG$150 and for a 12-month period from SG$2,000 to SG$3,000.
Since the exclusivity period on casinos licences in Singapore has been extended by 10 years until 31 December 2030, there is a guarantee that tax rates will not see another increase until at least 2032.
During the debate over the new Gambling Duties Bill, there were several questions raised related to the timing of the IR expansion projects amid constructions delays due to Covid; but the Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Alvin Tan, suggested that such delays are “not altogether surprising, nor unique to this industry.”
He added that the IRs remain committed to the new developments.