Thursday, September 16, 2010

More than 1 million local visitors to casinos since opening.....

More than 1 million Singapore residents have visited the IRs since they opened[Link]. When the govt changed the rules to allow casinos in Singapore, they told us that it will create jobs for Singaporeans and bring foreign gamblers to Singapore. If you go to the IRs, you will see for yourself that many of the workers are foreigners. RWS wouldn't spend money to provide free transport to HDB heartlanders if its clientele is mostly foreign. Among other CRA violations, the RWS gave the local media stories of big winners at its casinos to entice locals to gamble.

So did the casinos bring more good than harm to Singaporeans?

PAP govt's main "harm prevention" is the NCPG (National Council of Problem Gambling) [Link]which has an annual budget of $2.5M. Compare that with the $387M that RWS made in a single quarter (3 months)....$2.5M is not even enough for the free snacks they give out at RWS to entice local gamblers.


Anonymous said...

It is obvious by noow that PAP failed and foreign MNC,Genting Bhd succedded.

Jobs for cheap foreigners,casino for Singaporeans,that was what Genting planned

PAP slogan for voters:Jobs for Singapore citizens,casino for tourists.Failed.

Who art the suckers-we,the citizens of Singapore

Anonymous said...

1 million out of 5 million people is only 20%.

I believe those locals who wanted to go to the casinos have already done so. Hence there may be repeat visitors out of the 1 million and no more new visitors.

So roughly 80% of the people (including me) are not gamblers.

I think this is still acceptable because it is a good majority.

Like all things, majority wins (did not lose money gambling) and this is good.

This is also what some senior politicians called "see things in perspective".

Anonymous said...

@ anon 08:46

it's 1 million residents. there are only 4 million residents ie 25%.

what we shld ask the govt to release is the proportion of resident vs tourists in their clientele.

Anonymous said...

Even if 5 million, not all are adults over 21 years, rite?

Singaporeans are so naive and simple.

Either that, they desperately want to believe their world is still okay.

Anonymous said...

Out of the 1 million visits from locals (include PRs) who had visited the 2 casinos,
what is the percentage of the visits attributed to Singaporean?

Anonymous said...

Look, PAP has sold out the country. Election is coming soon, vote for change!

Anonymous said...

..."conveys a clear signal
to both IR Operators to confine promotional efforts for the casinos to tourist only"..

Look at the bus services by SMRT to and fro the casions.

What time and day do they operate? What are their routes? When did they start operation? Possible that the govt is not aware about the services?

So... don't let the casinos promote. 'We' will do it ourselves??!!

Anonymous said...

Here's an out of the box random suggestion which may or may not work.

Why don't the government impose a double taxation on any revenue generated by locals as opposed to foreigners?

The logistics may be tricky but it is possibly doable, since people need to show their IC when they buy and cash chips.

Increasing the taxes would give the casinos a financial incentive to get more foreign gamblers, increase the revenue of the PAP and not take away the rights of Singaporeans to gamble.

Anonymous said...

I am the skeptical kind... I do not believe in the government in saying that they do not want locals to go to casino.

If you look at the models of casinos in other countries, it is probably not very sustainable for the casinos to rely on just foreign visitors. This consideration would probably have been taken into account during the feasibility studies or other research done before the setting up of the casinos.

Casino operators would probably have asked for some kind of partnership or guarantees in the form of government support or somehow in some other ways.

All these are just wayang. Casinos main worry is to sustain the business from Monday to Thursday. Based on what I see in Genting, they have done a good job by linking up with travel agencies in bringing Singaporean and Chinese visitors to Genting. When you are doing the business, you think of ways and means to at least cover the cost of a single day. That way, your business model should be quite sound.

The two casino operators are seasoned operators. People in the streets know that the challenge in casino business is during the week days.

PAP and the casino operators are in this together. No way, I would believe whatever arises is something that the government has no knowledge about.

My forecast is that in the long run, gone will be the rhetoric that the casinos are for foreigners only. There will be measures and promotions to entice all people. Just for the sake of business.....

Anonymous said...

I think it is 1 million visits, not unique visitors. I suspect the number of unique Singaporeans visiting is much lower. at 100-200 thousand. I estimate each unique visitor will have visited the casino 5 times.

Anonymous said...

Goh Meng Seng has written the following blog entry with regard to the statistics released by Minister Balakrishnan.

The current levies are clearly not working in detering Singaporeans from visiting the casinos.

Perhaps they have released the statistics because there are plans to increase the levies after the elections.

Anonymous said...

Based on the statistics released by the Minister, it is obvious that the levy is not working. We should therefore explore alternatives to control problem gambling.

A good alternative would be for Singaporeans to furnish their CPF/income tax details when they apply for their casino card. The process would be similar to applying for a credit card.

Based on this CPF/income tax details, the person can then be allocated an amount which the person can lose in 1 month (e.g. 10% of monthly income). Once this amount has been reached, the person can then be barred from entering the casino until the next month.

If we apply a system like this, we can effectively address problem gambling and even remove the levy so that all Singaporeans can go in and enjoy the casinos in moderation.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I do not agree with whatever the curbs or measures that will or are discussed to stop gambling in the CASINOs in Singapore, simply because whatever things that are proposed are a waste of time and resources.

Why set up the casinos in the first place if you are going to implement so many stuff to counter the obvious consequences in the first place?

Whatever the government is trying to tell you or the media is reporting is actually a waste of time, when they could have listened to the people in the first place or they could have just banned Singaporeans from the beginning.

So to cut the story short, it is just wayang and obvious that the government is just trying to bake the cake and eat it as well... they created something and then justify and hookwink the masses...end result...they get lots of money...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they have released the statistics because there are plans to increase the levies after the elections.

Levies are not going to increase after the elections for the simple reason that they are going to make nothing if they increase beyond a certain amount.

Imagine if the levies is $400, may as well go Genting Highlands and more cooler, get to stay in hotels.

The levy is strategically at $100 so that the amount is not that high for people to go Genting.

They know the elastic demand well. Remember that the levy is going straight to the government coffers.

Anonymous said...

To discourage Singaporean to go to the two casinos, increase the one time entrance levy to $2400(which is the median monthly salary of residents now) and $48000 for one year unlimited entries.
The issue is whether they want to implement it or not.

Anonymous said...

$100 levy per person, 1 million visitors means S$ 100 million.
It is a lot of money within a short span of a few months.
Why still need gst to help the poor?

Anonymous said...

Since $100 levy cannot deter people from going to IE, should increase the levy.

The said...

Wow, a cool $100 million collected in 7 months from the entrance fees alone. Way to go.

No, I don't think those are 1 million unique visitors. One million visits - I suspect the bulk are repeat customers. Remember the guy who lost $26 million? I am sure he made more than 1 visit.

Anonymous said...

If the PAP doesnt want locals to go, then just ban it completely!! If they can ban chewing gum, why not casinos or cigarettes? It just boils down to revenue; they want us to gamble & spend but they also wanna act holy & tell us not to gamble or gambling destroys homes!

Anonymous said...

Folks, wat's the issue? The government never force anyone to gamble. You can afford or you cant but so long as you can gamble, go ahead. No one force you to gamble. Why do you people want to force others from gambling or stop gambling?

Be responsible yourself okay and stop from interfering in others freedom. Legal gambling is not breaking the Laws hor!

Anonymous said...

Habitual smoking and drinking can be considered as vice, with a tendency towards addiction, but they have been with us a long time, and the government can only try to control it. On the other end of the scale, say, pot and heroin are banned totally here.

I would say the gambling vice lies somewhere in between, especially after it has been brought in, sanctioned and institutionalised by our caring government.

The PAP has given us another means to shoot ourselves, never mind if we were to pull the trigger ourselves, absolving them of all blame.

Anonymous said...

stopping the shuttle service is just trying to pretend to be proactive.

if the gambler is going to pay $100 to enter casino, having free or not free transport doesnt matter.

they are just creating news to show they are proactive.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Die hard gamblers are not detered by anything, even if their lives are at stake. What is no free transport?

Casinos at the door step can create die hard gamblers from occasional gamblers. That's where the danger lies.

Of course, the gahmen thinks this can be controlled. Can it? Maybe like slow poison, only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Drug peddlers usually start with offering free supplies.
That's how they get people addicted.
Enough said.

runroad said...

Indeed, if you have lived in the US you'll know that the casinos there use the tried and tested freebie model to entice punters. Coaches to and fro are provided FOC for customers living in the casino's catchment area. Hotel rooms in Reno and Las Vegas are almost always deeply discounted and often free during the week. That goes for F&B and the tickets to performances by big-name celebrities too.

It takes a very strong-minded person to resist the temptation. That is how ordinary non-problem gamblers are first hooked (just like drug addiction) and why a casino licence is the freedom to print money; even the casino staff members themselves are not immune to the blandishments on offer. When you combine that model to the Chinese predilection for gambling, you understand why it took Sands a mere one year in 2004 to recoup their entire construction cost in Macao.

Anonymous said...

the locals are screwed

smoos said...

I'm not against the casino to be in Singapore, because amateur gambler can gamble from as small as 4D, Toto, football betting and horse racing to as big as trading in stock, future and forex. Gambling in Cruise, Batam and genting is just a weekend trip.

I'm not saying social problem is not an issue, but we shall not focus in only Casino.

I support the idea from Aurvandil, singaporean enter casino base on personal cash flow liquidity.

Alan Wong said...

It's so meaningless for the Govt to pretend that the casinos are for tourists and foreigners.

If they are really concerned (and not just pretending) about heartlanders gambling away their hard earned monies away, why a token S$100 levy ?

What is stopping them from imposing S$200 or S$1,000 or even S$10,000 ? If you want to show that you are really tough and mean it, then don't just pretend you mean business by just taking the free bus services away ?

From now onwards, what are you going to take to reduce the number of Singaporeans visiting the casinos to gamble ?

If you do not do anything to reduce the numbers, are you not real hypocrites to begin with ?

Anonymous said...

So far, I had only been to the Universal Studio. I had never learn how to gamble thus not interested in the casinos.

Anonymous said...

So far how to tell whether there are more suicides, crime and family breakups, embezzlement etc due to casinos?

So far the media has not reported much on this.

Is it they don't know, or know but don't report, or really nothing much to report?

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