The aggregate amount of money raised in the fiscal year to March 31 from those required to pay Singapore’s casino entry levy, surpassed pre-Covid-19 fiscal years, according to the Singapore Totalisator Board, the body responsible for collecting it.
The actual amounts payable either for 24-hour access or a year pass, went up 50 percent in April 2019, prior to the pandemic.
The fees gathered in the latest reporting period came to SGD147.31 million (US$108.85 million), compared to the nearly SGD125.47-million in fiscal year 2021-22, showed the Tote Board’s latest financial statements filed on November 2.
The casino entry levy is payable by any Singapore citizen and permanent resident wishing to use the gaming facilities either at Resorts World Sentosa, operated by a unit of Genting Singapore; or at Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Total levy fees gathered had been SGD114.07 million in fiscal year 2020-21; SGD116.61 million in fiscal year 2019-20; nearly SGD124.93 million in fiscal year 2018-19; and nearly SGD130.9 million in fiscal year 2017-18, according to the Tote Board’s previous financial statements.
The Singapore authorities announced in April 2019 – at the same time as extending the casino duopoly until 2030 – an increase to casino entry levies for locals, as part of the city-state’s policy of “minimising the social impact of problem gambling”.
Their 24-hour acccess fee went from SGD100 to SGD150, and the annual pass from SGD2,000 to SGD3,000.
In 2018, a total of 127,000 people defined as either Singapore citizens or permanent residents – referred to collectively locally, as ‘SCPRs’ – visited a casino in the city-state, where there is a service-provider duopoly.
By 2020, the annual number had gone down to 79,000. The tally recovered to 104,000 in 2022, though Singapore’s overall population, and the universe of those classified as either Singapore citizens or permanent residents have also seen adjustment over time, the authorities point out. The collated information was disclosed by Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) in its latest annual report.
“As part of our commitment to keep problem gambling under control, the Singapore government increased the casino entry levies by 50 percent as a pre-emptive measure back in April 2019,” stated GRA chairman Tan Tee How, in prepared remarks in the report.
“Following the implementation of the increased entry levies, casino visitorship by Singapore citizens and permanent residents… continues to remain low, with the number of SCPRs who visited the casinos in 2022 constituting only around 3.2 percent of the Singapore adult population,” added Mr Tan.
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