07 October 2014

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on number of Singaporeans purchasing consecutive day pass for extended stay in casinos by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Cooridinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs

Question: 

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs (a) how many Singaporeans who buy the day pass for entry to the two casinos end up buying a second consecutive day pass to extend their stay in the casinos; and (b) whether a new restriction can be introduced to disallow such extensions.

Answer:

Mr Teo Chee Hean: The casino entry levy regime is part of our overall social safeguards regime to discourage Singapore residents from casual and impulse gambling in the casinos. In 2013, about 8% of the day entry levies were purchased by casino patrons to extend their stay in the casinos. Of the casino patrons who made such purchases, more than half did so on two occasions or less during the year.

2.           The day entry levy is valid for multiple visits within a 24-hour period. Hence, it does not mean that all those who purchased a consecutive day entry levy stayed continuously in the casino for more than 24 hours. We do not have readily available data on the number who stayed beyond 24 hours in a continuous stretch.

3.           The Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) works closely with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the casino operators to identify casino patrons who show signs of problem gambling. For example, responsible gambling ambassadors will look out for patrons who show signs of distress and will refer them for counselling and other help services.

4.            In addition, there are targeted measures such as Casino Exclusions and Visit Limits to protect at-risk groups from problem gambling. The NCPG has powers under the Casino Control Act to impose Third-Party Visit limits or an Exclusion Order on frequent casino patrons who are identified to be financially vulnerable or in financial distress.

5.            There are currently no plans to place restrictions on the purchase of consecutive day entry levies. CRA and MSF will continue to monitor the situation closely and ensure our social safeguards remain robust.