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Singapore sports and lotteries betting up 40% year-on-year

A total of SG$9.2bn (US$6.78bn) was spent betting on games such as football, 4-D and Toto in Singapore in the Tote Board’s last financial year.

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The figure is a 40% increase from the prior-year period, and the largest sum placed on such games in the past decade.

A spokesman for the Tote Board stated that the sums wagered on lotteries and sports in the financial year ended March 2022 increased due to Singapore lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

Statutory body the Tote Board governs lottery operator Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, which operates the horse races. Lotteries comprise 4-D, Toto and Singapore Sweep, with sports betting encompassing football and motor racing bets.

All Singapore Pools outlets, the Singapore Turf Club and the two casinos in Singapore were forced to close their doors from 7 April to 1 June 2020 amid the circuit breaker being imposed.

The venues then reopened on different dates, with Singapore Pools retail outlets resuming operations from 22 June 2020.

The Tote Board did not provide a breakdown of total bets on each game, but counsellors who work with gambling addicts offered their reasons for the increase in betting, with We Care Community Services Executive Director Tham Yuen Han referencing the increase in global football matches amid the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The ease and accessibility offered by the Singapore Pools online betting site was another reason for the rise, according to counsellors.

The most recent National Council on Problem Gambling survey found that 44% of Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 18 and older said they bet on at least one form of gambling activity in 2019, with the 2020 survey finding that 4-D was the most popular game, followed by Toto.

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