Imagine the uproar there would be if Las Vegas based casinos, in addition to charging their outrageous resort fees and car parking fees, decided that they were going to start charging their customers to walk through their front doors.
Well, over in Singapore all citizens and permanent residents are faced with having to pay an entry fee to get into any casino based there, those being both the Marina Bay Sands Casino and the Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa.
In fact, since the introduction of those entry fees back in 2010, a total of S$1.3 billion has been paid out by gamblers eager to play card and table games and slot machines.
The idea of charging customers to enter casinos in Singapore, was not to use them as cash cows, despite what many gamblers may think, it was to try and deter those with a gambling problem from gambling in such venue’s day after day.
Initially, the price for a single day’s entry into either of those two casinos was set at S$100. However, a year casino entry long pass could be purchased instead which cost some S$2000, but the price was increased just over a month ago, and now all permanent residents and citizens of Singapore must pay a daily entry fee of S$150 or a one-year pass can now be purchased for S$3,000.
Looking at the data released about those entry fees, they do look like they have had an effect in reducing the number of local people who gamble in those two casinos, for a 50% drop has been reported between 2010 and 2018.
But whether those reductions in customers visiting those two casinos are based around gamblers who simply do not want to be forced to pay to access all manner of casino-based games, rather than just deterring problem gamblers is unclear.