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Parliamentary Replies

Government's Annual Receipts From Taxation of Casino Revenues

25 Feb 2013

Date: 25 February 2013

Parliamentary Question from Ms Mary Liew:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether he can provide an update of the Government's annual receipts from the taxation of casino revenues since the start of their operations; and (b) what amount and percentage of these receipts are used to fund (i) social programmes for gaming addiction; and (ii) projects that help the less fortunate in our community.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam: 

The total revenue from betting and sweepstake duties was $2.0 billion in FY10, $2.2 billion in FY11, and $1.5 billion for the first nine months of FY12 (between April 2012 and December 2012).

These collections are channeled into the Government Consolidated Fund and are available for spending for all the programmes of Government, including social programmes to help the less fortunate such as public rental housing and Special Education (SPED) schools.

The Government has increased expenditures to combat gaming addiction, from $3.8 million in FY09 to about $10 million in FY12. This includes the establishment of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), which administers casino exclusion, and implements public education programmes to address problem gambling. The amount above does not include grants that the Government provides to voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), such as Family Service Centres, to defray the cost of counselling services that the VWOs provide to problem gamblers and their families.

The Government is obliged to protect data relating to sensitive commercial information. As Singapore has only two casinos, the Government is therefore unable to specifically disclose the amount of casino tax revenues collected. Casino tax revenues are hence currently reported under a broader classification of betting and sweepstake duties which includes taxes from lotteries, horse and sports betting and fruit machines as well.

In previous years, we had provided estimates of the net tax revenue increase arising from the combination of revenue collected from the IR casinos and the estimated loss of tax revenue from the resultant decline of other gaming activities. We are unable to provide this net figure on a continuing basis, as the initial impact of the casinos on other gaming activities would have tapered off or evolved over time. However, one can refer to betting and sweepstake duties for an indication of the trends in casino tax collections.