Money spent on lotteries, sports bets in Singapore surged by 40% to $9.2 billion in 2021/22

Singapore Pools and one of its outlets.
Singapore Pools and one of its outlets. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore/Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — Punters in Singapore spent a total of $9.2 billion on lotteries and sports bets in the Tote Board’s last financial year, which ended in March 2022. This is the largest amount recorded in the past decade.

According to the Tote Board's annual report, this is a 40 per cent jump from the $6.6 billion that was wagered on lotteries - which comprise 4D, Toto and Singapore Sweep - and sports bets in the previous financial year that ended in March 2021.

A Tote Board spokesperson told The Straits Times that the spike in betting amounts coincided with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions following the circuit breaker period in April and May 2020.

All Singapore Pools outlets, the Singapore Turf Club and the two casinos were shut during that period. They subsequently resumed operations on different dates - for example, Singapore Pools retail outlets opened from 22 June 2020.

Horse-race betting and casino entry levies also spiked

Besides betting on lotteries and sports, horse-race betting also spiked during the Tote Board's last financial year, with $818 million was placed on horse racing bet - 65 per cent more than the $496 million in the year before when the Turf Club was closed during the circuit breaker period.

However, the annual report said that betting on the races has been on a steady decline in the past decade, as the activity is not appealing to younger punters.

Meanwhile, some $125 million in casino entry levies was collected in the last financial year, 10 per cent more than the $114 million collected in the year before.

The daily casino entry levy for Singaporeans and permanent residents is $150 a person.

The Tote Board is a statutory body that governs lottery operator Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club, which operates horse races.

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