SINGAPORE – The Republic is expected to overtake Australia and South Korea next year to become the second-largest casino market in the Asia-Pacific, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The report, which is titled “Play to Win” and looks at the trends in casino and online gaming, projects Singapore’s casino revenue to grow to US$2.8 billion ($3.6 billion) this year and reach US$5.5 billion next year. This would mean that by next year, Singapore would leapfrog Australia and South Korea, whose casino revenues next year are projected to be US$2.8 billion and US$2.5 billion respectively.
That would put Singapore’s casino revenue in the No 2 slot in the Asia-Pacific, behind Macau’s US$28.4 billion.
“Singapore has made a dramatic entry to the casino-gaming market with the two integrated resorts,” said Mr Greg Unsworth, PwC Singapore’s industry leader for technology, info-communications, entertainment and media.
Macau will remain the world’s largest casino market even in 2014 with a projected revenue of about US$45 billion, compared with US$8.3 billion in Singapore, the report said.
Next year will be the first full year of operations for the two integrated resorts in the Republic, which legalised casino gaming in 2005. Resorts World Sentosa opened in February this year, while the Marina Bay Sands opened two months later.
Estimates by some investment banks have projected even more explosive growth for Singapore’s casino market. CLSA said last month that Singapore’s casino market is likely to be worth US$6.5 billion by next year, matching the Las Vegas Strip, before surpassing it in 2012 with a market size of US$8.1 billion.
The PwC report said that the Asia-Pacific casino-gaming market has stormed ahead of the rest of the world after the recent recession, growing by nearly 50 per cent over the past year.
The emergence of a prosperous middle class with considerable disposable income has benefited the casino-gaming industry in the Asia-Pacific, it said. This, together with a deep cultural attachment to gambling, has driven demand in the region.
With Macau to remain the global leader and robust growth in the rest of the region, casino gaming in the Asia-Pacific is expected to expand almost threefold to US$62.9 billion in 2014, from US$21.8 billion last year, the report said.