Online Gambling Not Important in Singapore, According to YouGov Survey

The benefits of online gambling have not registered with people living in Singapore. A study YouGov released this week found that the majority of Singaporeans don’t believe it should be a legal activity.

Aerial View Over Singapore Marina Bay
Aerial View Over Singapore Marina Bay
An aerial View Over Singapore Marina Bay. A new study suggests online gambling is not a priority to most people in the country. (Image: iStock)

Changes are coming to Singapore’s gambling ecosystem, but they may not include the addition of online casinos. However, based on the results of the YouGov research, it won’t be missed.

In the UK-based research and analytics company’s report, Global Gambling 2022: The consumer view in the gambling debate, it indicates that Singapore isn’t ready to embrace online gambling. The same report also discovered something interesting about Hong Kong gamblers, which could present problems for Macau.

No Love for Online Gambling

YouGov surveyed consumers in 18 global markets between May 20 and June 3 in order to draw its conclusions. The study found that 56% of Singapore adults are not ready to support online gambling. The firm emphasized that this is higher than the global average of 46%.

It’s also lower than the preference in Spain and India. Those two countries see levels of resistance of 57%, according to YouGov. However, this hasn’t stopped Spain from enjoying a strong online gambling market.

Singapore’s level of anti-online gambling support is also the same as that of China. However, all forms of gambling are illegal in the country. Singapore, on the other hand, enjoys a solid land-based casino market and is adding new options.

Unsurprisingly, resistance was greater in older age brackets. 68% of Baby Boomers reject the idea of online gambling, while the figure is 62% for Generation X. 44% of Millennials and 45% of Gen Z-ers also don’t see the value of online gambling in the country.

This makes sense. Younger generations rely on technology more than older generations. As such, they are more ready to accept digital activity as the norm.

Likewise, YouGov surveyed Singaporeans about the current state of online gambling regulations. Only 28% of Gen Z-ers and Gen X-ers feel the country’s laws are unnecessarily strict.

Hong Kong Gamblers Uneasy

While the YouGov report covered a lot of regions, the results in Singapore stand out because of the gambling reforms underway in the country. However, Hong Kong also earned a mention because of what its gamblers reported.

The Chinese SAR has long been a prominent feeder market for Macau. However, in light of the current COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong’s sister SAR, gamblers might be losing interest.

YouGov determined that 42% of Hong Kong residents are apprehensive about visiting land-based casinos – in Macau or elsewhere – because of COVID-19. However, whether this is only because of the health risks from COVID-19 or because Macau gambling continues to face closures isn’t clear in the report.

It’s important to keep an open mind about the findings. Hong Kong has a population of almost 7.5 million people. However, YouGov’s study indicates that it based its conclusion on the input of just 508.

Before COVID-19, Hong Kong delivered around 15% of Macau’s gambling traffic. The small percentage of responses to the survey may not accurately reflect the proper sentiment that a more complete study would have provided.

However, it’s a start. It’s something that should lead to further investigation as casino operators in Macau begin the process of applying for new tenders.

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