Singapore has one of the most regulated gambling markets in the world and a number of countries have studied Singapore’s gambling laws in an attempt to pick up best practices and adopt them in their own gaming regulations.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Singapore recently announced that it will seek feedback from the general public as it looks to amend existing gaming laws. The goal is to establish a new gaming regulator by the end of the year and update gaming regulations to address changes in gaming technology and social gaming practices.
The MHA confirmed earlier this week that it plans to change its gaming regulations before the end of 2021. Feedback from the general public is being collected with regards to social gaming practices, claw machines and online games.
Singapore currently has two licensed land based casinos operating in the country with Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. Online gambling is prohibited in the country by the existing Remote Gambling Act. The MHA is aware that due to changing technology there are different forms of social and online games taking place in Singapore that can be classified as gambling.
Singapore wants to address these new business models and gaming technology with its new regulations to make sure that there are no grey areas in its gaming laws for operators or individuals to exploit. The new gaming regulations will also include provision for harsher penalties to be imposed on repeat offenders of gaming regulations.
The Common Gaming Houses Act prevents Singaporeans from gambling in a common place but is not very clear about gambling in one’s home. The new laws will address this as the MHA plans on making it clear that there is no prohibition for families to gather together and gamble as long as it is not run as a gambling racket. Criminal syndicates who try to exploit this law will be specifically targeted and dealt with harshly.
The new laws will also address controversial loot box games that allow in-app purchases. Singapore plans to allow loot box purchases and will set a cap of S$100 on the in-app purchases.
The Straits Times
Problem Gambling Under Control
The MHA said that it was happy with existing laws that protected Singaporeans as problem gambling numbers have not escalated during the last 10 years which shows less than 1 percent of Singaporeans have a problem with gambling. Gambling related crime stats have also not escalated which is further proof of how good Singapore’s gaming laws are.