Singaporean gambling spend, participation up in 2017

More Singaporeans are participating in gambling compared to three years ago, according to a survey by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), local media reports.

The survey, which is run every three years, showed that 52 percent of Singaporean residents aged 18 had participated in at least one form of gambling activity last year, up 8 percentage points compared to 44 percent in 2014. The median betting sum was $30, up from $20 in 2014.

The increase in gambling participation was attributed to an increase in gambling among the Chinese population as well as players of 4D, Toto and social gambling, said NCPG.

The council said that it expanded the number of physical help centers in Singapore from two to six over the last two years, while a new phone and Internet-based counselling service was introduced last year in July.

However, the number of calls and web chats to the Problem Gambling Helpline dropped to a five-year low in 2017.

“With World Cup 2018 coming up, the NCPG would also be stepping up our public education efforts … (and) will also continue to improve the accessibility of help services,” said NCPG chairman Tan Kian Hoon.