Singapore is considered a laggard to the casino industry in comparison to her neighbor, Malaysia. To make up for being half-a-century late Singapore decided to have two casinos. Other Asian countries - Vietnam, Korea, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Japan - are joining the bandwagon to intensify the fight for gamblers patronage. Like good foodies, gamblers will also travel the extra mile for a wager.
Macquarie, a leading financial services provider in Australia, "think the Singapore gaming market cannot grow." They noted that the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the nation had plateau around $6 billion a year since 2011. "After three big years, tourist arrivals in Singapore have started to decline (down 3 percent year-to-July) and most importantly, Chinese visitors who form more than 50 percent of Singapore VIP volume have fallen by 29 percent year-to-date," Macquarie said. VIP volumes make up around 80 percent of the city-state's total gaming volume, it said [CNBC 23 Sep 2014].
Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC, is optimistic about the situation. He sees the drop in overseas visitors to be temporary as it is partly due to China's economic slowdown and corruption crackdown. He said, "Once things die down, we'll see the return of these high rollers," he said. "From an Asian perspective, Asians will gamble regardless of good times or bad. It's different from a Western perspective, where gaming is more for leisure." Wong does not seem to make much sense when he claimed that economic slowdown was the cause of decline in Chinese visitors yet advocating that bad times will not stop Asian gamblers. Singapore's strong currency and lack of tourist attraction in their tiny island is more likely the cause for their failure to attract foreigners.