Singapore Casinos Witness Drop In Local Traffic And Prepare For New Regulator
An increase in casino entry fees by more than fifty percent last year has led to casinos in Singapore recording lower turnouts of local gamblers according to the state gambling regulator.
The Singaporean Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) released its 2019-20 oversight report on Resorts World Sentosa, owned by Genting Singapore, and Marina Bay Sands, owned by Las Vegas Sands.
An observation made by Tan Tee How, CRA’s current chairman said that the increase in daily casino entrance fees which came into effect in April 2019 had decimated the number of locals wishing to gamble from four percent in the 2019 financial year to 2.75 percent in the 2020 financial year.
Singapore has been experiencing a low number of locals showing interest in gambling for a while now, a rate that has been on a downward spiral since the launch of the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa in 2010. Those numbers are not going to be very impressive in 2020 when you take into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that it has had on land based casinos around the world.
Marina Bay Pays Higher Penalties
Marina Bay Sands incurred a S$145,000 in penalties from the CRA in 2019, a sharp increase from the S$15,000 that the casino paid in 2018. The bulk of the fines were due to the casino failing to put into action a system for collecting the entrance fees on time along with the inability to stop locals from using the gaming floor even though they did not remit the entrance fees.
Resorts World Sentosa was subjected to only one penalty of S$20,000 for the infraction of letting in an underaged customer into their gambling floor. Compared to the S$730,000 they paid the previous year, the S$20k fine is a massive reduction. However, Resorts World Sentosa was sent a letter of censure by the regulator for operating new gaming equipment without CRA’s approval.
New Gambling Regulator
Mr. Tan Tee How revealed recently that a shakeup was in the works that would see the merging of other gambling boards’ regulatory operations and roles to create one umbrella body called the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA). The expected launch of the GRA is slated for next year.
The chairman added that the new body would be formed with the aim of addressing three challenges, namely; the rising influence of eSports and its impact on the younger generation, legislation regarding loot boxes and eSports betting.