$8b spent on gaming

According to the Straits Times news report “Close to $8 billion a year spent on gaming” (Feb 8) – “Singapore punters bet close to $8 billion a year on 4-D, Toto, horse racing, soccer and other games – more than the combined revenue of the two casinos.

With the exception of horse racing, the turnover for 4-D, Toto, the Singapore Sweep and sports betting such as on soccer matches continued to grow even after the casinos opened five years ago.

Compare that to the $7.89 billion turnover for games run by Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club for their financial year that ended in March last year.”

Gambling not a problem?

I think there may be something wrong with the “spin” that the two casinos have not created more gambling problems in Singapore.

$8b turnover less $6b prizes/dividends

I understand that the $8 billion is turnover, which after deducting the prizes and dividends paid is only about $2 billion.

Additional $7.7b lost after casinos opened?

In contrast, “the combined gross gaming revenue for the two casinos here for 2013, the latest full year available, was $7.66 billion”.

How much of this was returned to Singaporeans by way of winnings?

So, what it really means is that gamblers lost $7.7 billion in the casinos, and only about $2 billion in the other forms of gambling.

What it means is that gamblers lost about $7.7 billion more after the opening of the two casinos.

Why is there no transparency as to how many Singaporeans made how many visits and lost how much?

2nd highest gambling spending per person in the world

“The Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, a British firm, found that on a per head basis, every person in Singapore spent almost US$1,300 (S$1,760) on gambling in 2012, second only to Macau’s US$68,500. Australia took third spot at almost US$1,000 per person.

A National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) spokesman said that the percentage of Singapore residents who gamble has remained stable in the past decade.

Its 2014 survey released last Thursday found that about half of the 3,000 citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and older who were surveyed had gambled in at least one game in the past year.

The proportion of pathological and problem gamblers, or those addicted to gambling, has fallen to just 0.7 per cent of the population, down from 2.6 per cent in its 2011 survey. However, these addicts are starting younger and gambling harder than before.

Believe it or not?

The NCPG spokesman said: “The majority of Singaporeans do not have issues with problem gambling.” – If you believe this “spin” that gambling is not a problem – then how do you explain the facts that ranked second after Macau for per head spending on gambling, and losing $7.7 billion more in gambling?

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