Record $7.4b spent on sports bets, lotteries

The lure of multimillion-dollar Toto draws and online betting could be reasons behind the rising sums of bets, counsellors who work with problem gamblers say.
The lure of multimillion-dollar Toto draws and online betting could be reasons behind the rising sums of bets, counsellors who work with problem gamblers say.PHOTO: ST FILE

A record $7.4 billion was wagered on lotteries, such as 4-D and Toto, and sports bets in the Tote Board's last financial year, the highest sum in almost a decade.

The lure of multimillion-dollar Toto draws and the ease of betting with lottery operator Singapore Pools introducing online betting in 2016 could be reasons behind the rising sums of bets, counsellors who work with problem gamblers say.

Meanwhile, horse racing and casinos have lost their shine among gamblers here. In the board's last financial year, which ended in March, a total of $131 million in casino entry levies was collected.

This was a plunge from the $223 million in the financial year ended in March 2011, the first full financial year after the casinos opened in 2010. Counsellors who work with gambling addicts say the novelty has worn off and fewer locals are visiting them because of the levy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2018, with the headline 'Record $7.4b spent on sports bets, lotteries'. Print Edition | Subscribe