Singapore is possibly the world fastest growing gambling destination in terms of revenues. The city-state has only two operational casinos, but by the end of next year they are expected to reach the revenue level of Macau, currently the busiest legal gambling spot on the planet. Macau needed six years to reach that level, while Singapore casinos only opened in 2010.
When compared to the US market, Singapore’s revenues has reached a level of the entire Las Vegas Strip in just nine short months this year. According to Morgan Stanley estimates, 2012 revenues at Marina Bay Sands and Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa could reach $7-10 billion a year.
Much of the growth is accredited to the low 5-15% tax rate granted by Singapore gambling laws. For comparison, the same tax is around 39 % in Macau, not to speak about Europe where the levies and other contributions to the state budget can be even higher.
According to casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, his margins on EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) are 28-30% of gross revenue in Macau, but closer to 50% in Singapore. Not a bad figure, to be honest.
Here are some statistics. In Southeast Asian region, estimates put that there is 15,000 people for every legit and legitimate gambling table and slot machine. This figure is 250 in the United States. In other words, every slot machine or casino in Southeast Asia has 60 times more potential customers that its US counterpart.
Gambling has always been part of the Asian culture, reaching a wider audience than gaming in the west. On top of the number of huge potential players, most Asian states are not as rigidly anti-gambling as some governments in the Western world.
Adelson commented recently on the news on Singaporean gambling: “Asia is far from saturated. It will never be satisfied in my lifetime. It will probably not be satisfied in yours.”