Singapore is known for many things, including the Merlion, the city’s fantastic cuisine, and its cleanliness. It may be one of the smallest city-states in the world but it is definitely one of the wealthiest. Every year, tourists flock to the city to see the sights, while workers from all over the world come here for the sheer number of opportunities the country offers. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between Singapore and other East and Southeast Asian hubs, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Kuala Lumpur, to name a few. But the thing is Singapore one of the few places where VIPs and high-rollers can play in East and Southeast Asia (the other being the Philippines and Macau).
Here are the best casino games:
Is gambling illegal in Singapore?
Whether you were born in Singapore or you’re an ex-pat or a tourist, this is probably the first question that springs to your mind every time you want to play.
So to answer your question, no, gambling is not illegal in Singapore. But while it is not illegal, the industry is so strictly regulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs that you will find only a handful of casinos operating in the city. It can be a bit of a shock if you’re used to Macau or Las Vegas where some streets are littered with casinos left and right. The Casino Regulatory Authority is in charge of regulating Singapore’s land and sea-based casinos. Meanwhile, the Gambling Regulatory Unit is in charge of regulating online gambling.
Well, what about online gambling or online casino then?
Playing online gambling was outlawed by the Singaporean government in 2014 through the Remote Gambling Act. But a couple of operators have been granted an exemption, and they are Singapore Turf Club and Singapore Pools.
Does Singapore have any casinos?
Yes, you’ll find casinos in Singapore. Here are some of the places that offer table games, slots, and more.
Marina Bay Sands
Apart from the Merlion, the Marina Bay Sands (or MBS for locals, tourists, and ex-pats) has become one of the most easily recognizable attractions in Singapore. Its triples towers, Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and infinity pool have become iconic and a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
But it’s not just a play to stay in or for sightseeing. Marina Bay Sands also features a huge casino that can rival the ones in Macau or Las Vegas. The casino occupies four floors, and it is known as Singapore’s biggest and most expensive casino. Marina Bay Sands casino is so impressive that it features more than 2,000 slot machines. Plus, you can also play the usual table games here, including baccarat, roulette, and more (more on those games later).
Resorts World Sentosa
Resorts World Sentosa is an upscale resort operated by Genting Singapore, and it is located on the island of Sentosa. The casino is open all day long and caters to low-stakes players and high-rollers alike. Resorts World Sentosa may not be as big as the one in Marina Bay Sands, but it can hold its own.
We’ll discuss some of the games you can play in Resorts World Sentosa below.
Aegean Paradise Cruise
Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa casinos land-based, but Aegean Paradise Cruise is different as it is sea-based. The Aegean Paradise is unique as it is one of the few cruise casinos operating in Asia. But it’s not just a casino. You can also find cabins onboard, as well as a lounge, spa, buffet restaurant, gym, and pool onboard.
Singapore’s Online Betting
Singapore Turf Club
Singapore Turf Club is one of the two establishments allowed by the government to operate online gambling. It has been around since 1842, and it is authorized to hold horse races and horse betting services (online or through different channels). Its online betting services started in 2016, but it was transferred to Singapore Pools in 2018.
At the time of writing, Singapore Pools is the only remaining establishment that offers online betting. Apart from online horse betting, it also offers legal lottery, as well as live betting on football games and motor racing.
Different Casino Games in Singapore
Here are some of the casino games you can play in Singapore casinos.
Poker is a popular card game wherein a player bets over the best hand according to the game’s rankings. It is played using the standard 52-card deck and has different variations. Some of the most popular variations include Stud, Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, 7-card stud, and 5-card draw. Other variations include Follow the Queen and High/Low Chicago.
Poker requires anywhere between 2 and 10 players, but the number of players largely depends on the variation that is being played.
Baccarat is one of the most popular games that use the standard 52-card deck. In this game of chance, you start by buying chips from a croupier or dealer. You’ll be asked to bet on the different areas of the table, including banker, player, or tie. The dealer will then draw two hands (two cards for the player and two cards for the banker). The pair that has a total closest to nine gets the winning hand.
Pai gow is a casino game that uses Chinese domino tiles. In pai gow, players are handed stacks of four tiles each after they place bets. After that, the dealer rolls the dice. The dealer also retains stacks of tiles, and the objective is to beat the dealer. There is also a variation of this game called pai gow poker that uses cards instead of domino tiles.
Craps is a dice game played by one or multiple players. Instead of betting against each other, the players bet against the house.
Sic bo is another game played in casinos in Singapore, Macau, and other countries in Asia, North America, and the UK. Similar to craps, this is a dice game wherein the players bet on different parts of the table. The dealer then rolls the dice inside a small chest and reveals the combination.
Roulette is probably one of the most easily recognizable games in casinos worldwide. In this game, players place their bets on different parts of the table. The dealer then spins the roulette in one direction and the ball in another. When the ball stops in a particular section of the wheel, then that is the winning bet.
Aside from poker, blackjack is the most popular card game worldwide. In this card game, two or more players compete against the croupier or dealer. Whoever has a combination that is closest to (but not over) 21 wins.
Slots are easily some of the most addictive games in a casino. Popular among low-stakes players and newbies alike, slot machines now make up the bulk of casino revenues. To play slots, all you have to do is slide money or drop a coin into the slot, and push a button or a lever to activate it. The player receives a prize when the machine’s multiple symbols align. The payback for playing slots is small, and there are instances when the player gets nothing at all. But the bets are small, and it’s fun, so it’s a good way to pass the time if you don’t like playing craps or baccarat.
You don’t have to go to Las Vegas to play blackjack, slots, and other casino games. Customers from Singapore are welcome at Marina Bay Sands and other local casinos if they’re looking to gamble or enjoy a different kind of entertainment. Plus, Singaporean customers interested in online betting can simply visit the internet and check out the best online betting sites.