Pawnshops in Singapore booming, helped by gambling demand

    The number of pawnbrokers in Singapore jumped to 214 this year from 114 in 2008, boosted by a combination of rising costs in the city and demand for cash from gamblers Bloomberg cited a study from DMG & Partners Securities as saying.
    Loans disbursed by the industry jumped to S$5.5 billion ($4.4 billion) in 2013 from S$1.6 billion in 2007.
    Since the city state’s two casinos opened in 2010, about 20 percent of the increase in pawnbroking activity has been driven by clients raising money for gambling, said Ivan Ho, president of the Singapore Pawnbrokers’ Association. The rest comes from business owners and low-income individuals who need quick cash to pay hospital bills and other unexpected costs.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit named Singapore as the world’s most expensive city in its latest survey published in March.
    “The performance of the casino resorts will be one of the key drivers empowering the pawnbroking industry moving forward,” the news agency cited DMG analysts as saying in a recent report.