The gambling cruise industry of Singapore appears to be making a comeback after being hit hard with competition in 2010, when two new luxury resorts opened in the city-state. According to a report by the asiagamblingbrief.com, the locals of Singapore are beginning to visit the casino cruise ships once again, in part to avoid the S$100 entrance fee charged by the resort casinos.
When Resorts World Casino Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands Casino opened in 2010, the cruise market began to go downhill. The MV Leisure World which came into operation in 1969 as Skyward, the first purpose built ship of Norwegian Cruise Line, now runs Lido Casino 24 hours a day. The ship is operated by New Century Tours. The ship saw a drop to less than 500 customers a day when the resorts first opened. Now, the ship can have as many as 600 to 700 guests a day. The majority of the gamblers on the ship are elderly, including residents of Singapore and Malaysia. Leisure World is the only remaining ship to be in operation near Singapore, offering low betting limits of $2, which is quite low when compared to the $25 for table game play at the land based casinos.
Resorts World Casino Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands Casino are large casinos with nearly 5,000 slots and 1,200 gaming tables between them. The Lido Casino on the other hand offers approachable boarding fees and only about 200 slot machines and 38 table games. Most Singaporeans board a ferry at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal for the 40 minute ride to Batam, where documents are checked, and then ride another twenty minutes to the ship. Overnight and VIP accommodations are available for those who tire before the journey home to Changi.