Now that the two casinos are open in Singapore, reports have indicated that the gamblers frequenting the properties are largely made up of Singaporeans or permanent residents. This was exactly what the government was trying to avoid by imposing levies on Singaporeans who want to gamble.
A recent report by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch showed that between 50 percent and 60 percent of casino customers were locals, and that nine in 10 of them are paying the S$100 (US$70) fee, while only one in 10 has paid the annual S$2,000 levy.
Gambling was legalized in Singapore to attract more tourists and business travelers to the city. The government did not want locals to gamble, so officials imposed the levy.
Meanwhile, visitors from countries surrounding Singapore are flocking to the casinos. Malaysia tour companies have been bringing thousands of players via bus to the casinos every weekend. From the busy Malaysian city of Johor, the ride to the Singapore is just one hour. It’s more than four hours to visit the only casino in Malaysia, Genting’s Resorts World in Genting Highlands.