Entry fees to casinos for PRs, Singaporeans to rise by 50%
From today, Singaporeans and permanent residents need to pay 50 per cent higher levies to enter casinos here.
The hike will see rates go up from $100 to $150 a day, and from $2,000 to $3,000 a year.
This is part of the Government's efforts to continue keeping problem gambling under control. This, even as local visitorship to the two casinos have dropped significantly and the problem gambling rate remains low and stable, the Trade and Industry, Finance, Home Affairs and Social and Family Development ministries said yesterday.
Gambling participation surveys by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed the probable problem and pathological gambling rate here dropped from 2.6 per cent in 2011, when the casinos just opened, to 0.9 per cent in 2017.
Said the four ministries: "The Government is committed to keeping this number under control."
They added that the local casino participation rate is low and most do not visit regularly.
Last year, just 4 per cent of the adult local population visited the casinos, a drop of 50 per cent compared to 2010.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said the levies serve as a broad-based social safeguard to deter causal and impulse gambling, and MHA also took into account other factors like changes in household income and the prices of alternative casinos before deciding on the hike.
MHA will shorten the pre-payment and activation windows of the entry levies to six hours from August 1, while MSF will work closely with the integrated resorts (IRs) to implement measures to promote responsible gambling.
The entry levy hike comes as the exclusivity period for the casinos in the two IRs here - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa - was extended until end-2030 in light of the $9 billion the IRs have committed to their expansion and rejuvenation plans.
The IRs were granted exclusive rights to operate casinos in 2007, which expired in 2017.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that while the IRs have been successful on the economic front, the Government has also been closely monitoring the potential social impact of gambling.
The Government will raise the casino tax rates and will introduce a new tiered structure from March 2022.
Gross revenue from premium gaming was previously taxed at 5 per cent while gross mass-market gaming revenue was taxed at 15 per cent.
Under the new system, the first $2.4 billion of gross gaming revenue from premium gaming will be taxed at 8 per cent, while the rest is taxed at 12 per cent.
Similarly, for mass gaming, the first $3.1 billion from mass gaming will be taxed at 18 per cent, while anything over that will be taxed at 22 per cent.