An increase in the casino entry fee in Singapore, as much as 50%, has affected local attendance. Fewer gamblers have been reported for Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa.
They report a drop from 4% (last year) to 2.7% of the adult population in 2020. The Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) has issued its annual report showing a consistent downward trend for these venues compared to 2019.
Also revealed are penalties for both integrated resorts regarding nonpayment of levies for the most part. Nevertheless, the fines are smaller at present.
Of note, a major regulatory shakeup in the CRA involves merging operations with the city-state’s other gambling boards. Now there will be a Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) with oversight over both land-based and online gaming. The GRA is expected to begin sometime next year.
Chairman Tan said that the regulatory challenges ahead are numerous. Among them technology for more access to gambling, the appearance of gambling in non-gambling products (such as loot boxes in video games), and the rise of eSports.
Despite pandemic restrictions, MBS is the only Las Vegas Sands venue to report positive earnings in Q3. No doubt this is why the company may be selling some Nevada properties.
Both Singapore casinos welcome international patrons. They are likely pleased to hear of the relaxation of restrictions on foreigners by Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority.
China nationals and visitors from the Australian state of Victoria may apply for an Air Travel Pass shortly. They must not have traveled beyond their respective regions for two weeks prior to entering Singapore.
Singapore had previously exempted residents of certain parts of Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. Singapore and Hong Kong are working on a ‘travel bubble’ to permit quarantine-free travel.