New Singapore Measure Outlaws Online Gambling

The Remote Gambling Bill has been tabled in parliament

Online gambling will soon be specifically prohibited in Singapore if a bill tabled Monday in the national parliament is passed.

The Remote Gambling Bill has provision for a set of blocking measures – including website and payment blocking, and restrictions on marketing – to support enforcement procedures that will outlaw and criminalise all remote gambling activities, defined as gambling through means such as the Internet, telephone or other kinds of communications technology.

The restrictions apply as long as the gambling activity takes place in Singapore – a point-of-consumption concept – regardless of where the bet is placed or where the remote gambling operator is located.

Under the Act, players gambling online will be committing a criminal offence.

Singapore gambling laws have hitherto not specifically addressed online gambling, the Ministry of Home Affairs explained in a statement:

"In developing this Bill, MHA studied the laws and practices of other jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong, Norway, and France. A six-week-long public consultation was held to seek feedback on the proposed framework. Consultations with grassroots, social services, religious and industry groups were also conducted, and their views have been considered.

"The objectives for regulating remote gambling are to maintain law and order, and protect young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by remote gambling."

The bill does allow for some exemptions; a Singapore-based, not-for-profit entity can apply for exemption provided it can show that it contributes to public, social, or charitable purposes in Singapore, and has a good track record in complying with legal and regulatory requirements.

However, these exempted entities will be subject to strict operating conditions in the areas of social safeguards and responsible gambling.

A spokesman for the Singapore National Council of Problem Gambling noted that under the new law there will be exemptions for remote gambling for horse racing, F1 racing and football betting, but this will not be extended to poker and other casino gaming-type activity.

Local operators like Singapore Pools and the Turf Club, which both offer telephone betting services, will probably apply for the exemption as well.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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