Singapore is one of the major tourist spots in the world and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. The Singaporean government profits enough with tourism revenues but they had hopes of more. With hopes of great success, Singapore in 2010 opened the gates to their casinos. Singapore’s famous integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, which house a theme park, a convention space etc, opened casinos in 2010 with hopes of the market’s potential growth but their plan seems to be not working. The gross gaming revenue of the city has decreased to about 60% since 2011, i.e. one full year after the functioning of the casinos. The casino scenario seems to be depreciating in Singapore.
There might be several reasons for the decreasing charm of the casinos in Singapore. Following are some of the reasons.
1. Decrease in the number of tourists
Singapore has seen a significant decrease in the number of tourists visiting the city every year. The casinos were opened keeping in mind the fact that the large number of tourists will boost the gaming market but due to the emergence of other regions, such as Dubai, as major tourist attractions; has affected the tourist traffic majorly. The number of Chinese visitors who formed 50% of the total VIP visitors has declined by 29% thereby leading to a decrease in the gaming revenue as these Chinese VIP visitors make up 80% of the city’s total gaming volume.
2. Casino openings in other Countries
Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, Cambodia, and Japan have either opened casinos or are gearing up to open casinos. Thus due to the strong Singaporean Dollar and the strict laws of gambling in Singapore, the VIP clientele might be diverted to these Asian countries.
3. Strong regulations for Citizens
Singapore has strict gambling laws for the citizens, as they do not want their citizens to spend too much time in the casinos. Thus, heavy entry fees are levied on the residents of Singapore thereby limiting their trips to casinos. In addition, the citizens can enlist members of their family with the casino and can debar them from entering these casinos.
The already decreasing tourist traffic combined with the strict laws imposed on the Singaporean citizens has led to the downfall of Singaporean casinos. However, Singapore remains one of the major tourist spots in the world, but its dreams of being a gambling giant do not seem to be fulfilling.