The hike in the casino entrance fee for local Singaporeans is further deterring already declining visitation to the island state’s two integrated resorts by residents, analysts said.
The government hiked the levy by 50 percent from $100 to $150 a day, or from $2000 to $3000 a year, in April. The increase, coupled with announced tax rises, came as a sting in the tail to a decision to allow the casinos to expand.
The higher fees were seen as an attempt to encourage the operators to put their focus on visitors to Singapore and to help alleviate problem gambling.
Analysts noted the impact of the levy in the recently announced second quarter results.
At Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands property, mass market gross gaming revenue declined 4 percent from the prior year and 7 percent quarter-on-quarter, while slots GGR fell 3 percent.
“Mass play was partly impacted by an increase in the locals...
This Dossier results from the “Life After POGOs” editorial project by Asia Gaming Brief which culminated with a pop-up digital forum on 9th December to discuss potentials ramifications in the industry.
Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that the number of visitor arrivals grew by 9.3 percent month-to-month to 636,351 in November 2020. However, this figure represented a year-on-year decline of 78.1 percent.
A spokesperson for James Packer has reportedly denied that the Australian billionaire met with Sands China Chairman Sheldon Adelson over the New Year holidays. The super yachts of the two casino executives were moored next to each other, triggering speculation.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing
what 2020 may have had in store.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.