For many people, Singapore’s tourism has become synonymous with integrated resorts. Many of these resorts, such as Resorts World Sentosa, began as casinos seeking to cash-in on the sudden influx of Asian high-rollers who would understandably prefer to gamble within Asia than fly out to Vegas, but recent trends in gambling have encouraged them to begin offering a range of different services in an effort to attract wider audiences.
Reports by Asia One have shown that while Asia’s high-rollers have been opting to visit Singapore after Macau’s crackdown on corruption, an excessively aggressive campaign to draw in Chinese VIPs has left Singapore’s casinos in mountains of debt. A rise in online gambling across the world has also resulted in the decline of middle-tier gamblers, and land-based casinos have been hard at work trying to develop new attractions for patrons… but is it enough? While Singapore’s casinos have gone to great lengths to integrate amusement park rides and attractions, Gala Casino has already been hard at work developing an “Ice Casino” – a casino made entirely out of ice, to be launched in Sweden by the end of the year. Government-imposed levies have also caused gambler numbers to dwindle, but this, surprisingly, brings hope to another area of Singapore tourism that is hardly touched: the floating casino industry.
According to Calvin Ayre, the floating casino industry saw its market share drop when Singapore opened its land-based casinos in 2010. With the Singaporean government now imposing a $100 daily entry levy for passage into land-based casinos, however, more and more middle-tier gamblers are opting instead to visit a floating casino.
Leisure World, the last remaining floating casino in Singapore, has flourished in recent months. Accessible via hourly ferries from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, patrons can experience entertainment out in the high seas for the small price of $23, inclusive of buffet-style meals. The 9-deck M/V Leisure World is made up of the following:
- The Tropicana Karaoke Lounge on the 9th deck, where patrons can enjoy “comprehensive range of evergreen ballads to the latest hits to croon away all night long” and enjoy disco dancing;
- The Sun Deck on the 8th deck, where the bridge can be toured by enthusiasts, and where those looking to relax can enjoy authentic Thai-style massages;
- The Boat Deck on the 7th deck, where deluxe cabins, as well as the main gaming hall, are located;
- The Rainbow Deck on the 6th deck, where daily live-performances by the resident band & singers and invited guest artists can be seen, as well as the Starlight Restaurant, and a smaller gaming hall;
- The Junior Suites in the 5th deck, as well as some video arcade game machines and a gift shop;
- The Biscayne Deck on the 4th deck, where one can also enjoy the fitness centre;
- The Caribbean Deck on the 3rd deck, where there is a hair salon and a foot refloxology centre.
Leisure World’s amenities follow along the same principles as Singapore’s integrated resorts: giving patrons the chance to experience a variety of services from a single location. For more information on their schedule and itinerary, please visit their website.