Singapore finds Way to balance Casino and Tourism Revenue


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While Macau has been hailed for its incredible growth and unparalleled casino profits, some industry experts believe that they need to do a better job of balancing casino and tourism revenue. Perhaps they could take a note from another booming Asian gambling destination in Singapore, which has done a great job of making sure their revenue is evenly-distributed. Here's a closer look at how Singapore has managed to avoid becoming a lopsided casino capitol.

Striking a Balance

The Singapore government has done an excellent job of making sure that the city-state's two casinos - Las Vegas Sands Corp and Genting Singapore - have built up their entertainment options away from the tables. So in addition to offering casino games, these establishments also feature high-end hotels, amusement park rides, theaters, museums, nightclubs, restaurants and shops.

The idea here is to build Singapore's tourism revenue while avoiding problems that come with focusing everything on gambling. Genting Singapore CEO Lim Koh discussed this by making the following statement:

The domestic market.. will be sustained by inflow from the foreign players. As we open more facilities, that will give us an edge in marketing overseas and in telling the world we are not just a gaming resort, but we have other things for families to do. It does help us in our gaming revenue.

Passing Legislation

Before casinos were allowed to operate in Singapore, the government made sure to impose the Casino Control Act - a series of laws that are designed to promote responsible gaming. The biggest law right now requires that Singapore natives pay a daily $100 fee to enter either casino.

New measures have been proposed that would further bolster the Casino Control Act. And the biggest stipulation of this involves increasing fines on gaming establishments if they don't comply with the act. Assuming either the Sands or Genting violate the laws, potential fines could be increased to 10% of annual gross revenue; the current cap is $1 million.

Of course, the Singapore government needs to make sure they're not putting too tight of restrictions on casinos or it could cut into their profitability. So this will be the challenge moving forward in regard to maintaining healthy tourism, profitable gambling and social responsibility.