According to the data presented by Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo in Parliament on Monday, Singapore has raised about $1.3 billion in casino levy from citizens and permanent residents (PRs) during a period of eight years between 2010 and 2018.
The question faced by the minister sought an answer to whether casino levy has been effective in pushing locals away from gambling. In Singapore, all citizens and permanent residents have to pay a levy to enter gambling facilities. The country has two Integrated casino resorts – Resorts world Sentosa which is operated by the Genting Singapore and Marina Bay Sands owned and operated by US-based Las Vegas Sands.
Last month the Singapore government made it expensive for locals to enter gambling facilities. The levy was increased by 50 percent. While for a single-day visit the levy was increased from SGD 100 to SGD 150, the annual levy was increased from SGD 2,000 to SGD 3,000.
Confirming that the levy scheme has been effective in keeping the locals out of the gambling facilities the minister said that, “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.”
He also added that the local footfall in Singapore casinos have decreased by at least 50 % since the levy scheme was introduced in 2010.
The minister further made a reference to the recent study by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) which revealed that the pathological gambling rate also decreased from 2.6 percent in 2011 to 0.9 percent in 2017.
The minister also made it clear that the Levy scheme is not going to go anywhere and it will continue as deterrence policy to keep locals from gambling.