Singapore is one of the fastest growing gambling destinations in the world. In only two years, the city’s casino industry managed to reach the revenue levels of Macau.
Last week, the city-state’s parliament has passed amendments to the Casino Control Act after a few days of debate. According to the new Singapore gambling laws, the two integrated resort casinos in the city (Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa and Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands) may face heavy fines now.
The two gambling spots must keep “social safeguards” that are meant to minimize the entry of locals to the casinos. There are daily and annual entry charges, and now visit limits must be imposed on casino gamblers.
Currently, there is a SGD 100 (US $81) daily entry fee. The parliament did not accept the initiative to lower the SGD 2,000 yearly „discount” entry fee.
The two casinos provide jobs for 22,400 employees, 15,000 of whom are Singapore citizens or permanent residents. This figure represents 0.7% of Singapore’s total work force. Estimates say that by 2015 there will be over 60,000 indirect jobs created by Singapore gambling industry.
Land based casino gambling yileds 1.5% to 2% of Singapore’s GDP (for comparison: Macau gets 92% of its GDP from casinos), and 2.2% (SGB 1.1 billion) of the government’s tax revenue.
Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran informed that the government is interested in the introduction of online gambling in Singapore.
However, comments from Iswaran show that the authorities are more focused on consumer protection: “Online gambling, including gambling on social media platforms and mobile devices, is growing in many countries. Many of the emerging online gambling products are also potentially more addictive.”
Iswaran emphasized: „Our objective remains the same, which is to preserve our values of thrift and hard work, and protect our society, especially the vulnerable, from the potential harms of gambling.”