Words: On Singapore Casino Entrance Fee

The Problem

Well, firstly lets start about the topic of problem gamblers. A problem gambler can be defined to be “an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop” (Wikipedia).

The very intelligent people running Singapore, have decided that to ‘hinder’ problem gamblers, one should impose an SGD 100 (USD 82) entrance fee into the casino, allowing an individual to play for 24 Hours. After the 24 hours, it would require the individual to re-enter once again. That is a very intelligent system to squeeze a huge amount of money from locals who go to the casino’s. Where this money goes? No body really knows.

What effect does the SGD 100 fee actually produce? Well if one were to consider it carefully, 100 SGD is roughly the price of 10 packets of cigarettes. That does seem to be hefty. Though, looking into it carefully, there are still many Singaporeans who enter the casino. Well I cannot find the stats online, but just take a look around MBS and RWS and you’ll see many; especially elderly, standing outside with no money, some even willing to sell their watches to you for some money or sitting around just basically waiting for a ride home. It is a terrible sight. Now, when you consider the fact that SGD 100 imposed, and many Singaporeans still enter the casino, it is obvious that this is an ineffective hindrance strategy, and with all ineffective strategies should be replaced or done away with entirely, i.e., it has no effect on the number of consumers of the casino.

It should be done away with entirely, as the eventual effects of charging an SGD 100 fee may actually be counter productive. It may cause individuals who have entered to actually want to gamble more because, “hey I already lost SGD 100 even before playing so I must try to make back at the very least my entrance fee!”. This is observably one of the weak points of the current entry fee system.

What could be done?

Well perhaps after more careful consideration, it can be noted that to hinder individuals from gambling, it may be wiser to utilize a tag system, where individuals who enter, have to get a tag and have to step out of the casino for 1 hour, for every hour they play, these tags should be made to be secure. This would allow the individuals to actually step outside the gigantic stimulating window-less room and allow for them to keep track of the time. Perhaps the circadian rythm would encourage them to get some sleep. Also it would condition them to be unable to play for longer hours.

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