The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) says it collected SGD52.4 billion (US$37.6 billion) in tax revenue in the fiscal year 2018-2019, up 4.4 percent from the previous year. The 3.1 percent expansion of the city-state’s economy in 2018 had been a factor in the bigger tax take, the authority said on Monday in its annual report.
Aggregate betting taxes – consisting of betting duty, casino tax and private lotteries duty – were SGD2.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, a 0.9-percent decline compared to the previous fiscal year. Betting taxes accounted for about 5.2 percent of total tax revenue collected by the IRAS in the latest fiscal year.
Singapore is host to two casino resorts: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Ltd; and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The city-state also hosts other gambling business segments, such as sports betting, slot machines operated by private clubs, and lotteries.
The Singapore government says taxes collected by the IRAS are used to support public expenditure for promotion of economic and social goals.
The IRAS tax take in fiscal year 2018-2019 accounted for 71.1 percent of government operating revenue, and 10.6 percent of Singapore’s gross domestic product, according to Monday’s report.
The aggregate number of visitor arrivals to Singapore rose by 1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter 2019, but tourism receipts in the city-state fell by 4.8 percent to approximately SGD6.54 billion, said last month the Singapore Tourism Board.
Tourist spending on sightseeing, entertainment and gaming fell by 3 percent in year-on-year terms in the three months to March 31, to approximately SGD1.46 billion. The city-state’s tourism body does not offer a detailed breakdown of services covered in each spending category.
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DS Kim, Derek Choi, and Livy Lyu
Analysts at JP Morgan