If you are planning on traveling to Singapore and experience the gambling nightlife, you have come to the right place.
The Singaporean government is not terribly fond of gambling, even though the country is home to two of the best casino resorts in all of Asia.
While tourists can gamble without a problem, locals find it much more difficult, especially since they must pay S$100 every time they visit a casino.
But there is a reason for it. The council uses it as a way to tackle problem gambling, meaning that instead of a way to disrupt the industry, it’s actually meant to help it out.
No matter if you are just visiting this beautiful country or you have been a resident for years, this article will show you how you can gamble in Singapore, as well as the best places to go and the important statistics that highlight its growth.
Here is all you need to know about gambling in Singapore.
Top Casinos In Singapore
The best casinos in Singapore attract people from all over the world. They are some of the most luxurious resorts across the globe and offer all the games you would expect from Las Vegas.
There may only be a few of them to try but you are guaranteed an experience unlike anything else.
The atmosphere is full of glamour and prestige and you can feel it as soon as you walk through the doors. The first casino in Singapore only opened less than 20 years ago, meaning that the gambling industry is still young compared to Vegas and other Asian markets like Macau.
But Singapore has something that these two places don’t: the title of being one of the top banking capitals in the world. With high rollers coming through the gates every day, you can be sure that the highest stakes are being played every single night.
There are more and more casino cruises in Singapore cropping up too. They will sail out to international waters to avoid breaking any laws that could prevent people from gambling on land.
When you turn up to a casino in Singapore, it’s best to turn up in smart casual. Avoid shorts and flip-flops at all costs or you can be certain you will not be allowed to enter – and this includes cruise casinos!
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is one of the best places to gamble in Singapore. It has close to 500 tables to play for your favorite games, more than 1,500 slot machines (jackpot machines to the locals) and, for those of you that want the VIP experience, over 30 private gaming rooms. In their own words, Marina Bay Sands has “a vast selection of the newest and most popular electronic gaming machines worldwide”.
With 15,000 square meters of casino space to enjoy, there are so many things to do. Minimum bets start at S$25 and vary depending on the table you play.
Resorts World Santosa
Resorts World Sentosa Casino (RWS) is 49 hectares worth of pure luxury and excitement. Located on the resort island of Sentosa, RWS has attracted more than 45 million visitors within its first three years and continues to welcome guests from all over the world
The casino itself covers 15,000 square meters of land and has the biggest casino games in Singapore. If you are a fan of poker, this is the destination for you.
The poker room is separate from the rest of the casino and, unlike the main casino floor, drinks are free of charge. The games start with blinds as low as SG$10/SG$20 with the rake capped at 5%.
If you fancy a break from the casino, you won’t be disappointed. The resort complex is also home to two other stunning attractions: Universal Studios theme park, the Maritime Experiential Museum and Marine Life Park, containing one of the largest aquariums in the world and the Adventure Cove Waterpark.
To enhance your stay, make good use of an award-winning destination spa, take a tour around the Resorts World Convention Centre, dine at a number of celebrity chef restaurants, and shop at some outstanding retail outlets.
Aegean Paradise Cruise
While aboard the Aegean Paradise Cruise, you can gamble all day and night without having to worry about breaking your lucky streak. If you get hungry, take as many trips to the Chinese buffet as you need or take a stroll across the deck and bathe in the sea breeze.
In terms of the casino itself, there are 40 live tables to play that include blackjack and poker, with hundreds of slot machines too.
Compared to mainland casinos, the minimum bets are far lower at around S$2 a bet, so low stakes players can take full advantage and have a good time.
There is an entry fee to access the Aegean Paradise Cruise casino, with prices starting at S$25. If you plan on staying the night, private cabins start from S$40 on weekdays and start from S$80 on weekends.
Head to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. From here, you will be required to take a trip to Nongsapura Ferry Terminal before boarding the cruise and starting your at-sea casino adventure.
Online Gambling In Singapore
If you are a resident of Singapore, online gambling can be a great option for you. This is because if you know where to look, you can play games and avoid having to pay the daily fee.
There are so many options, ranging from poker and roulette to slot machine, bingo, blackjack and so much more.
Plus, once you sign up, you can be eligible to claim welcome bonuses to let you play with more money than you deposit.
There are so many possibilities but the main thing is that you don’t have to succumb to the normal Singapore levies.
Generally speaking, in order to gamble online in Singapore, you must be aged 21 and over, but there are many offshore online casinos that accept players aged 18 and over too.
You are often required to confirm your age with documentation so have them to hand as you sign up.
When you’re ready to start playing, you are most welcome to use Singapore dollars on most sites. Be aware though that since it’s not a major world currency, the majority of sites you can use will either have US dollars, UK sterling or Euros as their main denomination.
The best sites have great exchange rates so you get the most for your money when you either deposit or withdraw into your account.
Another advantage of playing online is that Singapore doesn’t have a hosting centre for any of these major sites.
All of the online casinos you can use are based abroad and fall out of the government’s restrictions, meaning that there’s no need to rely on the gambling commission for where the site is based.
Of course, it goes without saying that even though there are a lot of opportunities to gamble online, it’s important to stay with a reputable site.
Ensure that you pick somewhere that clearly displays their licensing credentials and who they are operated by.
Best Online Sites
The best online gambling website for Singaporeans depends on the game you want to play. For example, the best place to play blackjack could have big bonuses for making certain hands but their Taxes Hold’em offering could have high rake.
Have a browse to see the best places for your game of choice. With the amount of money in the gambling industry, it won’t be tough to find.
The most popular games for online gambling in Singapore are roulette, sic bo, baccarat, poker, craps, slots and blackjack.
This means there are literally thousands of games you can play, the majority of which can’t be found in live casinos.
The Legal Bit
Now, even though online gambling in Singapore is possible, you must pay attention to this. If you don’t you can get yourself in trouble.
The Remote Gambling Act has effectively banned online gambling in Singapore, meaning that you won’t be able to find any local sites to play on.
This law doesn’t just affect Singaporean betting companies in the country either as the government has blocked several of the world’s biggest gambling sites.
Here’s an explanation of the laws courtesy of Singapore Legal Advice:
Gambling can generally be classified into 3 categories:
- Gaming, which generally refers to games of chance and skill. An example would be “Dai Di”, the card game also known as Big Two.
- Lotteries such as 4D or the Singapore Sweep
- Betting, which can include wagering on football matches or horse races.
Gaming is common in Singapore as a recreational activity. It would appear that gaming during funerals, a common sight in Singapore, is considered gaming in private. However, the operation of gambling dens is illegal. It is also illegal to game in public.
These acts are prohibited by the Common Gaming Houses Act. Therefore, gambling den operators and participants in public gaming can be liable for such offenses. Obviously, legalized casinos in Singapore are exempt from these laws.
Furthermore, underground betting is also an offense prohibited by the Betting Act. Only legalized organizations such as Singapore Pools can conduct public betting in Singapore.
Finally, jackpot machines are also banned in Singapore, in accordance with the Private Lotteries Act, except when permission is granted or as in the case of legalized casinos.
You can find even more legal information here.
So, how do you gamble online in Singapore?
The answer is by using proxy servers and VPNs that change your location.
When European players play online, most of their games don’t actually take place in their own country.
Unless the site has a server in that country, they are technically playing abroad. The server location is the place where the online casino is regulated and licensed too.
This creates a certain grey area for Singapore players. After all, if they use a proxy server or VPN and play on a European server, technically speaking they are playing a European game.
Now if you aren’t comfortable in this grey area, you don’t have to play for real. These sites will have games you can play for free or with ‘play money’, meaning you can still have a good time gambling online.
Once you get online, there are many online sites you can use, of which you can expect great security so that keep your personal details private and secure, a variety of your favorite casino games to keep you playing all night and plenty of rewards including real cash welcome bonuses.
Mobile Gambling In Singapore
Even though Singapore is small, there are so many things you can be doing. If you don’t fancy being limited to one place at a time, why not take your gambling on the move with you?
Plenty of Singapore’s online casinos function just as well on mobile devices as they do on a desktop computer. Whether it’s on your smartphone or on your tablet, there’s no need to stay at home and play anymore.
The mobile gambling experience for Singapore players is available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android and Windows. All you need is some battery power, an internet connection and you’re away.
Of course, with mobile gambling, you’re not just limited to Singapore either. Take the games on your travels across Asia and beyond.
The Facts And Figures
In 2018, it was reported that more residents of Singapore were gambling. The biggest increase was people aged between 18 and 29 years old, where the number of people gambling rose from 28% in 2014 to 41% in 2017.
These numbers were taken from a study by the National Council of Problem Gaming (NCPG), which occurs every three years. In fact, of the 3,000 Singapore residents that took part in the study, a lot of people from all age groups are gambling more than in previous years.
Furthermore, the study found that 52% of the participants had taken part in at least one form of gambling, compared to 44% in 2014.
The average monthly spending on gambling also increased $20 to $30 in the same timespan.
In terms of the most popular game, the 4D lottery remains on top.
However, while more people are gambling in Singapore, more people are also keeping themselves well away. The people that are self-excluding themselves the most were aged between 41 and 50 years old.
Gambling Addiction In Singapore
Now, while gambling can be a lot of fun, it can also cause a lot of problems if not managed properly.
However, in Singapore, even with the two massive casinos opening, the number of people becoming addicted to gambling in Singapore has decreased.
As per the report by the NCPG mentioned at the beginning of this article, the number of permanent residents of Singapore that had a problem with gambling was only 0.9% in 2017.
To put this into perspective, there were just over Singaporeans and permanent residents in 2017 who were over 20 years old. Therefore, 0.9% of this equates to around 28,000 people with an addiction problem.
In fact, the total number of people with a gambling addiction has been falling ever since 2005 ie before the two casinos were even open.
Only 1% of the people polled played jackpots or table games in Singapore.
One of the reasons behind this is due to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) implementing social safeguards to prevent addictions from forming; one of which being the daily S$100 levy.
So while the casinos remain an attraction for many international travelers, it seems the novelty has worn off the locals with fewer residents going than in previous years.
But even with all this considered, it’s still important to address the issue. Gambling addicts in Singapore often suffer from financial stress and cause concern for their families.
The council is doing a lot of work to raise awareness of problem gambling and offering help to anyone affected by it.
It is also increasing the number of help centers available and has even created an e-counseling service. The aim is to help people that feel uncomfortable talking about their problems by allowing them to be anonymous and talk over the phone or the internet.
Gambling in Singapore is on the rise. More and more people are coming to the city and taking advantage of the unique experience.
There are great games to play every day, no matter if you are playing at home or you take a trip into international waters.
If you have never been, there has never been a better time to gamble in Singapore. Even during the times where you don’t fancy it, the surrounding areas are packed with great activities to keep you entertained.
But even though the number of people gambling in Singapore is increasing, the number of people with a problem is heading in the opposite direction.
It’s vital that this trend continues so both residents and travelers keep coming back for more.