Singapore Gaming Industry: Good Times, Bad Times

Singapore, a tiny Asian country, is the real land of wonders. Picturesque Buddhist temples and high-tech business skyscrapers, beautiful nature, the international atmosphere and the diverse cultural heritage make it one of the most popular tourist destinations. Add the growing gambling industry it can easily explained why Singapore’s income is highly dependent on tourism and the money tourists annually leave in the country’s casinos and other gambling points.

People from all over the world began to discover Singapore as an ideal place for vacations several dozens of years ago. Tourists quickly started to appreciate this far-away Asian country for multiple reasons.

First of all, Singapore is a culturally diverse country, combining its colonial past with elements of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Arab ethnic influences. The famous cleanliness of Singapore’s streets and gorgeous natural parks with exotic species are also in trend. The low crime rate makes the life in this country very safe for both its citizens and tourists.

And the gaming industry here is also thriving. Singapore’s casinos have recently become serious rivals to the American gaming industry. While some negative tendencies towards decrease did take place in years 2009 and 2010 tourism still flourishes in this area as well as the gaming industry accompanying it. The highest number of tourists bound to Singapore comes from Asia. In 2010 8.7 million people visited this small country, mostly from Asian countries. In this year 5.4 million people from Asia have already visited Singapore – a clear decline compared to previous years. The number of visitors from Europe has also dropped to 780 k from 1.4 million recorded in 2011.

Year All Arrivals (2012 as per October)
2001 7.521.409
2002 7.563.738
2003 6.122.124
2004 8.324.294
2005 8.939.130
2006 9.746.093
2007 10.284.164
2008 10.070.366
2009 9.678.841
2010 11.636.129
2011 13.170.628
2012 7.081.947

However, there is also good news! Whereas the number of people coming to Singapore from all over the world have decreased nowadays, the hotel statistics shows unchangeably high room revenues as well as average occupancy rates:

  • In 2011 the room revenue was unprecedentedly high – 2002 million USD. It’s the highest number since 2001.
  • The room occupancy rate hasn’t changed since the last year – it’s still 87%. It reached this level only in 2007 when it was 87% too.
  • Average daily room rate is also boosting – now it’s 261 USD, and the revenue per available room is also the highest ever – 225 USD. Compared with the previous year Singapore’s hotel rooms have become more expensive – hotels rose prices at 10 USD at average.
Quarter Singapore Gaming
Singapore Gaming
Revenue per Visitor ($
2010 Q1 221,0 82,1
2010 Q2 741,7 261,7
2010 Q3 876,1 288,3
2010 Q4 961,2 313,1
2011 Q1 1094,6 351,1
2011 Q2 1065,7 329,2
2011 Q3 1190,9 341,6
2011 Q4 1155,1 346,9
2012 Q1 1219,9 341,1
2012 Q2 995,2 283,9
Year Total Room
Revenue ($ Mn.)
Average Occupancy
Rate (%)
Average Daily
Room Rate ($)
2001 76,5 133,1
2002 572,5 74,4 126,0
2003 442,9 66 114,2
2004 622,9 80,8 121,7
2005 731,3 83,8 136,8
2006 980,1 85,3 164,4
2007 1291,4 86,9 201,5
2008 1449,6 81 246,3
2009 1108,2 75,8 190,0
2010 1581,8 85,3 216,5
2011 2002 86,6 245,1
2012 86,6 260,6

But what’s about great Singapore’s attractions and its stable source of income – its casinos and slot machines? Statistic data is also grim in this case. Decrease in the country’s visitors has speeded up the decrease in the gaming industry’s revenue. In the second quarter of 2012 Singapore’s casinos earned 995 million USD. It’s more than in the 4th quarter of 2010 but less than in following periods. Two of Singapore’s leading gaming institutions – Marina Bay Sands and Genting also suffered from recession. However, gaming tables and slot machines revenues showed slight increase – 1173 million USD and 4934 million USD respectively, compared with 1169 million USD and 4921 million USD in the previous quarter of 2012.

All in all Singapore is establishing itself as one of major players in international gaming industry. Though the expected growth in 2012 isn’t as spectacular as it was during last several years and there are even some signs of recession, we believe, that rise of Singapore will continue, partly due to its different business model (Singapore’s ‘Let Us Entertain You … and Then Gamble’ Strategy).


singapore all arrivals

total room revenue

singapore gaming revenue per visitor

Data source: Singapore Tourism Board

Featured image by jjcbaron


div2 div5 div6 div3 div7 div4


  1. geox says:

    Singapore – place to be! Didn’t knew anything about their casinos, pity, will visit next time

Leave a Comment