Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How much money are Singaporeans gambling away at the casinos?

According to CNBC (see below), the gross gaming revenue of the two Singapore casinos is US$5.1 billion in 2010. Projected 2011 gaming revenue range from $6.4 billion (25% rise from 2010) to an astounding $8.1 billion (60% rise from 2010).

[Resorts World Sentosa casino opened on Feb 14, 2010. Marina Bay Sands casino opened on April 27, 2010. Therefore the 2010 gaming revenue was collected in 10.5 months.]

Locals account for 60% of the gamblers. Assuming that they also account for 60% of the money lost to the casinos, then locals gambled away US$3.06 billion (=5.1bn x 60%) in 2010.

There are 2,802,269 adult residents (citizens and PR) aged 21 or older (2010 Census).

Thus, on average, each adult resident gambled away US$1090 (S$1500, at 2010 conversion rate) at the casinos in 2010.

There were 26 million visitors to the casinos in 10.5 months in 2010. (Equivalently, 81,000 visitors every day; or 56 visitors every minute, day and night.) About 60%, or 15.6 million, are locals. So, on average, each adult resident made 5.6 casino visits.

In summary, on average, each local made 5.6 casino visits and lost S$1500  in 2010.

Of course, only a fraction of Singapore residents actually gambled at the casinos. Therefore an average local gambler lost much more than $1500 at the casinos.


[ps. A 2008 Survey on Gambling Participation Among Singapore Residents (conducted by the government, here) shows that 54% of Singapore residents aged 18 and above gambled.

Let's assume that besides these 54%, another 11% of adult residents also gambled at the casinos, out of curiosity, in 2010. Therefore 65% (nearly 2 in 3) of adult Singapore residents (1,821,500) accounted for the casino visits and gaming revenues stated earlier.

Thus, each local gambler, on average, made 8.6 casino visits, and lost US$1680 (S$2350, or $225 a month, for 10.5 months) in 2010.]


[pps. Further data (here) suggest that only 26% (and not 65%, as I guessed above) of the 2.8 million adult local residents gambled at the casinos.

Consequently, on average, each local gambler made 21.7 casino visits and lost US$4250 (S$6000, or S$570 a month, for 10.5 months) in 2010.]


The answer to the related question of how much Singapore gamblers lose annually to Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, i.e. to the government, is not made public (see here).

Singapore On Track to Overtake Vegas as Second-Largest Gaming Center

CNBC, May 7, 2011 (source)


Twelve months into business and Singapore’s first two casino resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa have already won the jackpot for the island country. The two generated gross gaming revenue of $5.1 billion dollars in 2010.

This year Royal Bank of Scotland forecasts revenue is set to rise by 25 percent to $6.4 billion, placing Singapore on track to overtake the Las Vegas Strip, which is forecast to earn $6.2 billion. That would make the island nation, the world's second biggest gaming center behind Macau.

Analysts say the voracious appetite for gambling among Asians and their growing wealth will drive momentum in Singapore's casino sector for years to come. This is a stark contrast from the Strip, which has seen a slump in revenues for four consecutive months.

The 2,561-room luxury hotel Marina Bay Sands, which has a 200-meter-tall, boat-shaped SkyPark and a lavish casino equipped with 500 gaming tables, attracted more than 11 million visitors over the past year — 885,000 guests walked through its doors over just four days of the Chinese New Year holiday in February.

Marina Bay Sands reported net revenue of $560 million in the three months to December, $457 million (82%) of this amount was generated by the casino alone. “Our recent financial results show that Marina Bay Sands is on track on all fronts, even surpassing our original expectations,” commented Mr. Leven, President and COO of parent company Las Vegas Sands.

The success of the casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s Singapore venture has helped put Las Vegas Sands back on track after a bankruptcy scare three years ago.

Its rival, Resorts World Sentosa, has seen measurable success welcoming 15 million visitors last year. The family focused casino-resort generated revenue of $623 million in the fourth quarter, over 80 percent came from gaming alone.

While the success of Resorts World Sentosa has been positive for Malaysian-based parent company Genting Group, it has stolen the limelight from the corporation’s own Resorts World Genting, located outside Kuala Lumpur, which was one of the first casinos to open in the Southeast Asian market. Resorts World Genting saw a notable fall in foreign visitors last year, causing its net profit to decline by 3.6 percent in 2010.

Gaming analyst Jonathan Galaviz of Galaviz & Company believes that Singapore’s reputation as a safe and corruption-free global city has been key in boosting its competitive advantage in Asia’s casino industry.

The blazing performance of the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa is also in large part due to the patronage of local Singaporeans, who made up about 60 percent of the casino customers last year, despite a S$100 ($79) entrance fee imposed by the government to act as a deterrent. “I don’t mind the $100 fee because I just go in and win it back,” says 24-year old Singaporean civil servant who frequents the casino once or twice a week.


However, both Fischer and Hung believe that junkets will eventually get licensed given the very significant business opportunity. “We estimate Singapore gaming revenues of $8.1 billion next year — we see up to 50 percent upside to these estimates should a number of high quality junkets operate in Singapore,” Fischer concluded.


The Marina Bay Sands reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $284.5 million for the three months ended March 2011, down from $391.3 million in the September-December 2010 period.     (source)

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