Singapore generates S$1.3bn from casino entry fees

By Matthew Enderby

Entrance levies at Singapore’s two casinos, originally designed to deter locals from gambling, have raised S$1.3bn (US$950m) since their introduction.

Minister for Manpower, Josephine Teo, announced the figure when asked in Parliament on Monday.

The levies for Singaporeans and permanent residents to enter either Marina Bay Sands or Resorts World Sentosa were raised to S$150 per day, or S$3,000 per year last month. They previously stood at S$100 and S$2,000.

Despite raising more than S$1bn, the levies are reported to have achieved their desired effect.

Teo said: “The daily and annual entry levies serve to deter casual and impulse gambling by locals and are part of a holistic suite of social safeguards.

“Between 2010 and 2018, the number of local visitors to the casinos declined by 50%.”

Last month, the Singapore government said it would extend the licenses of the two casinos until 2030 after they pledged to invest S$9bn in tourist attractions.

Plans include a fourth tower to be constructed at Marina Bay Sands, plus a new entertainment area. Resorts World Sentosa will construct two new theme zones and expand its aquarium.

To ensure the attractions are commercially viable, the government has allowed both operators to increase their gaming facilities.

Marina Bay Sands will be allowed to expand up to 2,000m2 and add 1,000 more machines, while Resorts World can add an extra 500m2 and add 800 machines.      

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