Singapore’s Remote Gambling Bill was recently passed after its second reading in parliament. The bill was introduced in September but plans had been made towards the end of last year to introduce this legislation to make online gambling illegal in Singapore. The Singapore government wanted to prevent its citizens gambling online for several reasons. The reasons cited by Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs include the claim that online gambling can be a cover for criminals and involve funding for illegal operations. Another major point put forward by those opposed to internet gambling is that it may be more addictive than other forms of gambling and also that the young and vulnerable need to be protected from the social problems that might be linked to online gambling.
Casino games to be outlawed
The new bill is to ban all forms of online gambling and it would also outlaw all those involved in providing internet gambling and any players who visited online casinos. Websites belonging to unlicensed casino operators would be blocked by the new laws. The Singapore authorities would also ensure that banks or other financial groups stop any payments being made linked to internet gambling. Traditional and other casino games (live roulette, baccarat, blackjack, sic bo, craps) and poker would be prohibited and anyone advertising such online operations could face prosecution. There had been concerns that taking part in social games online would also be banned under the new legislation but the authorities have clarified the matter by stating that these types of games wouldn’t be against the law so long as any gains made in the games cannot be exchanged for real money or goods.
Some Exemptions to the new gambling rules
The Singapore government will allow some types of online gambling but it will keep these under tight control and only those operators who hold a new remote gambling license will be allowed to offer these services. The new remote gambling licences will only be granted to operators who, in the opinion of the Singapore government, act in the interest of its citizens and who give a part of their revenue to charities or other socially responsible causes. Any operators who are given a licence would be limited to operating in the areas of sports events or lotteries. The remote gambling licences would only be granted to operators who are based in Singapore. The government has made it clear that any unlicensed online casino operators trying to offer their services to players in Singapore would be dealt with severely.