Singapore, a major casino hotspot in the Asian scene, recently announced hiking entry-fee for its permanent residents and for Singaporean citizens. The fee, which was previously SGD 100 (~INR 5k), will increase to SGD 150 (~INR 7.5k) and is applicable for two of the country’s Integrated Resorts.
The announcement was made recently by the ministries of trade and industry, finance, home affairs and social and family developemnt. it will take effect starting from tomorrow, 4th April 2019. The annual levy will increase from SGD 2k to SGD 3k too, following this decision.
The Singaporean government has picked a good time slot for this as the only two casinos in the country, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa had recently announced about SGD 9 billion in non-gaming investments. This decision is a safeguard to deter Singaporeans from indulging in gambling out of irrationality and impulsive moments.
The authorities, before levying this hiked tax, took into consideration various factors such as problem gambling, household income levels and prices of alternative gambling locations in the region. Local visitors to the casinos has ‘declined significantly’ over the last decade and problem gambling remains “under control”, the ministries said.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said, “Although problem gambling has not worsened since the introduction of the IRs, we are nevertheless wary of the dangers posed by gambling, in particular online gambling, which has become an increasingly serious threat.”
“In order to further limit the social impact of problem gambling on our local population, MBS and RWS have agreed to work with MSF to study how to help casino patrons make more informed decisions on their level of play,” he added.
Singapore casino model had been praised by former Infosys chairman Mohandas Pai. Recently while he was in Goa, Pai advocated the Singapore casino model to be implemented in Goa. Pai particularly mentioned the entry-fee that the country imposes on its residents as a deterrent for problem gambling.
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