Tote Board, the statutory board of The Ministry of Finance of Singapore, reports that a total of $9.2 billion was spent on betting in the last financial year in the jurisdiction. According to the report, this amount represents an increase of about 40 percent from the year before and the largest amount bet in the past decade.

Post-pandemic wagering:

The majority of bets were placed on games such as soccer, 4-D, and Toto by bettors of all legal ages wagering for fun and betting small amounts of money hoping to score big wins. Tote Board also informed that the sums wagered on lotteries and used for sports betting in the financial year ended March 2022 increased as soon as Covid-19 restrictions had been suspended.

Shutdown period:

All outlets of the lottery operator Singapore Pools, the horse racing wagering operator Singapore Turf Club, and two Singapore casinos terminated their operations from April 7 to June 1, 2020, due to the pandemic. They resumed operations on different dates in June 2020.

Tote Board,  the statutory body, channels the surpluses from Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, together with the collection of casino entry levy, to support worthy causes in the community. Its annual report for the financial year ended March 2021 included the 2020 shutdown to show that the total amount wagered in the observed period was $6.6 billion.

Last financial year’s results:

A year after, Tote reported that the financial year ended in March 2022 including a gambling turnover of $9.2 billion, which is a 40 percent increase on a year-on-year basis.

In the last financial year,  $818 million was placed on horse racing bets, which is 65 percent more than the year before, when the Singapore Turf Club was shut down due to the pandemic. Tote Board collected $125 million in casino entry levies, 10 percent more than the year before when the two casinos were closed.

Betting behavior:

Singaporeans widely placed their bets on the most popular games, such as Toto and 4-D, while sports bettors actively wagered on soccer and racebooks. The reason for the sudden growth of the wagering activity is explained by counselors who work with gambling addicts as the result of the post-Covid 19 frequency of sports events offering more opportunities to bettors.

Also, Billy Lee, executive director of Blessed Grace Social Services, views the surge in gambling activity as follows: “It’s a psychological thing. When things are opening up, people want to have fun.” Lee pointed out that lotteries like 4-D and Toto have always been very popular among Singaporeans. But, they place bets for fun, hoping for a big win with a small bet. According to Lee, these lotteries are an “accepted form of recreation”  in Singapore.

Singaporeans mostly bet around $100 or $150 at a time, whereas the daily casino entry levy for Singaporeans and permanent residents is $150 a person. A Singaporean taxi driver said on the occasion: “It’s what our generation does, and what our parents did. I will bet only what I earn, just a bit for fun. “