More people gamble, but what about the amount lost?
According to the survey results by National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), more than half or 52 per cent of Singapore residents aged 18 and above participated in at least one form of gambling activity in the last year, up eight percentage points from 44 per cent in 2014, the survey found.
NCPG said this was primarily due to an increase in gambling among the Chinese population and in those buying 4D, Toto and engaging in social gambling, said NCPG, although it added the figure has remained relatively stable over the last 12 years since its first survey in 2005.
Gambling participation rate was 58 per cent in 2005; 54 per cent in 2008 and 47 per cent in 2011.
The surveys are done every three years and involve a sample size of 3,000. A “gambler” is defined as someone who has participated in at least one form of the activity in the last 12 months.
In this connection, according to the article “The world’s biggest gamblers” (The Economist, Feb 9, 2017) – “betting losses per resident adult there (Australia) amounted to $990 last year. That is 40% higher than Singapore, the runner-up, and around double the average in other Western countries”.
You can see from the charts above that Singapore is ranked number 2 in the world for “Loss per resident adult, biggest gamblers in 2016, $”, at about US$650; and for “Total losses by country” – US$5.9 billion.
Assuming that New Zealand has the same participation rates in 2016 as in 2014, Singapore gamblers lost more in gambling than those in New Zealand gamblers.
Even USA with its 76.9% participation (2013) and its high income from gambling has a lesser loss per resident compared to Singapore gamblers.