Thursday 22 Feb 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 8): Singaporeans spent a record S$9.2 billion (US$6.8 billion) on lotteries and sports betting in the financial year ended March 31, 2022 (FY2022), an increase of 43% over the previous year, while casino entry level collections of S$125 million (US$92 million) also represented a five-year high.

In a report on Thursday (Dec 8), gaming industry magazine Inside Asian Gaming (IAG) cited information released by Singapore’s Tote Board, and said the amount spent on lotteries and sports betting was up from S$6.6 billion (US$4.9 billion) in FY2021, which was impacted by Covid-19 closures, but also 14% higher than the previous high of S$8.1 billion (US$6 billion) in FY2019.

The S$125 million collected by the Tote Board in casino entry levies in FY2022 represented an increase on the S$114 million (US$84 million) collected a year earlier and was broadly in line with the S$124 million (US$91.5 million) collected in FY2019.

Although lower than the S$131 million (US$97 million) collected in FY2018, FY2022 represented the first time since Singapore collected S$193 million (US$142 million) in 2012 that entry levy collections had increased year-on-year — having fallen every year since.

This was despite Singapore’s casinos — Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa — having been closed at various times throughout the year due to Covid-19 and implementing strict capacity restrictions through much of 2021.

Singapore’s former Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) also imposed a 50% increase in casino entry levies in 2019 as part of expansion agreements signed with operators Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore.

The CRA reported shortly afterwards that the increased levy had resulted in a substantial decline in the number of local citizens and residents visiting casino floors.

Also up by 65% in FY2022 was horse racing, which attracted bets of S$818 million (US$603 million).

The popularity of horse racing has been in decline in Singapore in recent years, with total bets having fallen from S$1.7 billion (US$1.25 billion) in FY2012 to S$1.1 billion in FY2019, then down to S$496 million (US$366 million) during Covid-impacted 2021, said IAG.

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