What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Singapore’. You go it right – gambling. This Southeast Asian state re-opened its doors to legal gambling back in 2010. Before that, Singapore had gone through a period of illegal and unregulated gambling for many decades. Today, it is one of the world’s biggest gambling destinations. Although the government legalized casino gambling as a tourist attraction strategy, statistics reveal that many Singaporeans love and enjoy gambling. If you want to know about the state of gambling in Singapore, you have come to the right place. We have done a thorough research to bring you all the relevant information, including the local gambling laws, the gambling situation and views on gambling in the country, and much more.
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Local Gambling Laws
The Singaporean government is very rigid when it comes to local gambling. Although the country hosts the two most popular and visited casinos on the Asian continent. The locals do not have the right to gamble, but tourists can play casino games freely without being fined. However, every tourist must pay $100 before entering any casino. The council’s strictness towards gambling works to control and reduce the rate of gaming addiction in the country.
Gambling Situation and Views on Gambling in Singapore
Gambling in Singapore is defined as any form of activity involving sports betting, lottery, and gaming. According to Common Gaming Houses, Act (CGHA) gaming is an activity that involves an element of luck or a mixture of skill and chance, where real money is involved. Here are some of the local laws regarding gambling in Singapore:
Although the CGHA does not provide a proper definition of private gambling, it considers gambling from a place that is accessible by the public. Anyone who gambles in a place that is not entirely private might be fined or imprisoned, or both.
This form of gambling is carried out where more than 10 people have access. Note that it is illegal to gamble in any public place. On this occasion, you will be fine by the court or jail.
Betting with Bookmakers
The Betting Act regulates all bookmaker activities in Singapore. If you place bets on a private betting site in any place, you’ll be guilty of breaking the gambling law. However, there are bookmakers that are exempted, such as Singapore Pool and Tote Board which are fully licensed.
Betting on Jackpot Machines
Jackpots are classified under ‘gaming’ in the CGHA, thus, it is illegal to partake in any type of jackpots in Singapore.
It is essential to understand that the minimum age of gambling in the country varies depending on the venue and the activity. Generally, you must have attained at least 18 years and above to be eligible to gamble.
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Online Gambling in Singapore
There is no specific law that bans internet or online gambling in Singapore. This has triggered one of the biggest debates on whether online casino gaming is legal or not. The current gaming law in the country adheres to the general prohibition with some exemptions, unlike the US policy which is quite different.
While there is no standard rule that permits or forbids gambling, it is illegal to operate or provide gambling services in the country. There is an ongoing motion among the Singaporean legislatures to come with a new regulation that will deal with the problem of illegal online gambling once and for all. The drive started with a public consultation which ended in 2014. Though the results from the consultations have not been made public, it is clear that the country is soon going to have new gambling laws. In fact, it has been confirmed that Singapore Pools Casino is about to go online.
As you may be aware, various bodies in the country, such as the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) and the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), regulate the gambling industry. Additionally, the Singapore Police Force also plays a vital role in enforcing laws against illegal gambling. Also, the Ministry of Social and Family Development helps in providing safeguards against general gaming and its related harms.
The MHA merges these bodies into one – Gambling Regulatory Authority (CRA) – will stay up to date with the latest technological and global trends. The idea of combining these regulatory bodies has been borrowed from the US and Hong Kong.
Nevertheless, despite all these online bans and regulations, Singaporeans are still able to play real money games. Many of them use VPNs to hide their real IP address so as to gain access to different websites.
Online gambling in Singapore is increasing at a very alarming speed. With so many online casinos being launched every day, it is hard to control or manage the habit. As much as the government want to release stringent laws to curb the spread of gambling, Singaporeans are in support of legalizing it. There is no doubt that online gambling comes with great benefits to the player, government, and the operators. Just like the two land-based casinos attract many tourists, so will the online sector boost the revenue of the country. Needless to say, you should always abide by the gaming laws of your jurisdiction.
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