Singapore To Review Casino Control Act & Expert Commentary

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

26th Feb 2012  SUN

Latest News Extracts (CNA) and expert commentary

Singapore’s Casino Control Act under review

SINGAPORE: The Government is currently reviewing the Casino Control Act, which among other things, governs the operations of the two Integrated Resorts (IRs) in Singapore.

This was disclosed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr S Iswaran, who added that the review is timely.

Mr Iswaran also heads a multi-agency committee looking into issues concerning the IRs.

It has been two years since both Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands started operations in Singapore.

And with the two IRs reporting some 135,000 people visiting each casino last year, a stock take is timely.

Mr Iswaran said: “Responsible gaming is an important aspect of the entire integrated resorts and responsible is not just about regulation, it is also about the operators themselves, stepping up as good corporate citizens. If you look at the practices around the world, if you look at Australia and if you look at some of the other countries, they are an important part of the equation…”

The time has come...

———–

Professional Ground Decoder guest commentary by an Asian casino industry expert

Based on the casinos’ local-visiting list of 270,000 people (135,000 X 2), the total trips made by this pool of locals to the two IR casinos are even higher.  Assuming that each local casino patron visited casino 4 – 5 time a year on average (which is highly probable if not higher), Singapore locals accumulated a total of between 1,080,000 to 1,250,000 trips to the casinos last year!  Just try to make the figure more meaningful, assuming that each  local patrons “contributed” SGD500 on average per trip at a casino, that means Singaporean locals contributed at least SGD675,000,000 to casino revenues last year!  The actual figure could be more.  It may be in the region of close to 40+% of total IR casino gross revenue.

Behind the huge sum of casino gambling losses, it is hard to convince people that it does not create some social-family issues/problems.

It will be more targeted that the following broad areas will be under review by the authority, with regard to Casino Control Act –

(1)  Limitation of casino floor promotions. In terms of frequency and prizes to be awarded over specific period of time.  Prize and incentive inducement make a different in attracting more frequent visits and betting amount.

(2)  Limitation of maximum number of trips per year allowed for certain level of income brackets/levels for locals. Lower income-earners should be more restrictive.

(3)  Limitation of total number of Junket operators for each of the IR casinos during a period of 5 years from 2012 onwards. (Assuming junket licenses will be granted from this year).  Junket promoters are not allowed to solicit local casino patrons (including PR) or give credit to them.  This will prevent junket network to eventually extend their reach into mid-range players especially local pools. e.g. Macau junket operations even solicit payers from taxi stands and ferry terminal.

(4)  Strict enforcement of NO credit lenders (or casino chips credit) are allowed in the casino premises.  If not properly controlled, such incremental boost of betting effect on the casino floor can be as high as 25 – 30% more when the lender network is formed.

(5)  While maintaining the SGD100 entry levy on locals, it is suggested that the annual entry fee be increased to SGD5,000.  Casinos are not allowed to give rebate or any form of incentive points to patrons who purchase the annual fee.  This will cap the casino trip frequency especially for the middle-income group if they find it too “expensive” to go for the annual fee at one go.  Currently, the annual fee of SGD2,000 is an attractive as well as convenient proposition for those who pay first and later, motivated to visit casino more frequently.

(6)  Extend the coverage of 3rd party exclusion scheme. (This has been mentioned by the minister).

With the above  control measures and casino exclusion mix, it is deemed more effective way to balance up the tourism drive (through IR) and the goal to maintain social/community/family well-being.

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Josephine Chan says:

    My personal opinion is that the impose of levy S$100 or S$2000 does not really act as a deter for
    Singaporeans or PR to gamble. I have been studying very closely the activities that are going on
    in the Casinos and come to realize that it is whether you are in or out of the clique. If you are “in”
    means that you “have” the sources and therefore no matter how much is the levy, these group
    of “in” or the “have” groups’ levy will be paid by their so call “bosses” and the “have” clique will just
    enter anytime to “eat” money directly from the casinos so as to buy bigger cars, upgrade houses,
    patronize restaurants and the list goes on. However, if you are not the “in” or the “have” clique,
    no matter how much levy one has to pay, they still cannot win any money. Some even use tactics
    like “vice” involvement which scare those “out” or “don’t have” gamblers out of the casinos. Meaning to say, the “in” or the “have” will lie that those who win are prostitutes (male/female) and
    will have to take a client in order to win. All these (scare) tactics are very silly but both casinos just
    let it happen.
    The other thing I found out is that, some “in” or “have” cliques will make use of innocent gamblers and make them look like they come together as a group, even junkets also make
    use of these individual gamblers to collect commission. In fact, I am also one of the victims, just today 5 April 2012, when I go to the cashier to convert some US$ to chips, a man suddenly appear
    beside me and said aloud that “we are together”. Though I do not know what he can gain and how
    much, I still think these activities are a nuisance to individual gamblers. Or it could be that the certain “small bosses” employ their own “shrills” to look after their gaming tables and these so called “shrills” are paid either daily or hourly, so when gamblers like me enter the casinos, they will
    take me as one of their so call “shrills”. In this case they can save up to several hours or daily “shrills” pay. Did I fake it? I am also a victim. How did it happen? I was then playing machine baccarat. I spoke to an Indian lady player sitting next to me, after some time, a man appeared
    and ask the Indian lady player to leave, so that means I am actually being used by that “man” to
    act as their “shrills” so that they can save on paying the employed gamblers. The problem is
    that was only the first time but after that it happened several time as long as I play on the machine
    baccarat.
    My case is a worse scenario, speaking personally, there are people watching me not only in the
    casino but they even shift to a flat next to mine and new shops are being opened under my flat. These people keep watching over every of my activity and like a “hunter” victimizing me. Each time
    if I win only “S$100 to S$200” which is so minimal, these people will just shout and make a lot of
    noise and wait like a “tiger” hunting for its prey, so that when the next time I go back to the casino to
    gamble, they will “eat” at all the chips I have. Somewhere around 14 March 2012, that was the day I won approx. S$200, and the whole block is full of commotion with people keep honing their car, out of anger and the next thing you know is that a Chinese woman from China was said to have jumped down from my flat on the same week, Saturday, 17 March 2012. Then my so call Chinese neighbour started yelling “这样你敢吃吗? You may say that I can always stop gambling then I won’t lose but why should I be threatened by these people whom I don’t even know or communicate with. All they said about everyday is “这个是好的是吗?她是可以吃的!” “她是不知道的是吗?”This is all they do and say everyday. Even a group of Hokkiens also say the same thing but in their dialect.

    I know that something fishy is going on and is still happening as long as I win money. But if I lose,
    these people will keep as quiet as a church mouse. Most likely they are dividing their money and worst of all, there is this person they addressed as “Thio” is always mentioned in their conversation. Very irritating but I still bear with it because I do not intend to shift out until I can find a bigger house.

    Now back to the subject on levy, can an increase in the levy make these people disappear so that ordinary people like me can gamble and enjoy a game or two. But I am very sure that an increase in levy especially S$5000 per year will not be able to drive these “local bosses” or “PR” to a corner. They can always arrange their own people to win enough money to buy the S$5000 per year levy, it is very simple to them but not for the “out” or “don’t have” gamblers like me. Sad to say, “political pets” are not necessary government, like this so call “Thio” whom I do not know at all, is very worried that I will win all the money from the casinos. Such a silly character. So what is levy for? For all those “Thios” and foreigners to eat money??? so that the rest of the “not Thios” or locals cannot even gather the crumbs under the casino’s umbrella????

    I suggest, instead we should open a 3rd casino and permit only local Singaporeans to enter to gamble, even PRs are not allowed. You can than see a great difference. The people gambling will then be very disciplined, no foreign vice. You can catch the so called “gods” and “goddesses” from the other 2 casinos. Levy is not really a problem. S$100 or S$5000, “in” and “have” gamblers provide for one another.

    Finally, but not the least, I will not be threatened by these people, I will still gamble as long as there are casinos, whether in Singapore or abroad. If there is really law and order in Singapore then these so call “Thios” gang should know their place.

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