With plans to introduce new upgrades to two of Singapore’s prime gaming and tourist hotspots, the government has decided to curtail access to these establishments’ gaming amenities to focus on their touristic services that would help boost Singapore’s position in the hotel and tourism standing in the region.
With the new upgrades expected to take shape starting next year, not only will there be renewed offerings for guests traveling to Singapore, but there will also be more jobs opened to locals to underscore the government’s thrust in capitalizing on its local manpower resources while keeping the gambling issue in this sector still in check.
Gaming Taxes for Singaporeans, PRs to Increase by 50%
In line with this, the casino entry taxes for Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) checking in the two integrated resorts (IRs) have been increased by as much as 50% starting midnight of April 4 (Thursday), as reported by Yahoo! News Singapore.
The daily entry tax has been raised from SGD 100 to SGD 150 whereas the annual entry tax has been increased to SGD 3,000 from SGD 2,000 as per the joint decision of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development.
While local visitorship to the gaming facilities housed at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has markedly seen a drop in the last ten years, the authorities pointed out that the decision to revise tax prices was made in an effort to consciously keep the gambling problem under control.
As per the survey by the National Council on Problem Gambling, the probable problem and pathological gambling rate has dipped from 2.6% to 0.9% when the IRs first opened in 2017.
The decision to impose new tax limits comes as the government agreed to extend the exclusivity period for the two casinos up until end of 2030.
In line with this, the two casinos – Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) — announced their commitment to put in SGD 9 billion worth of investment to boost tourism and build Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) facilities and attractions in the country, which is projected to create up to 5,000 new direct jobs for the citizens.
In line with the planned expansion series of the two IRs, casino tax rates that will apply to both IRs will increase for both premium gaming and mass gaming. At present, the tax rate for premium gaming is at 5% while for mass gaming it is at 15%.