Singapore to ease online gambling ban

Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club are exempted from legislation that blocks gambling sites.

The government of Singapore stated that it will allow limited online betting in tightly controlled conditions in the Asian country, as it eases a law banning remote gambling.

Singapore.- Singapore will allow limited online betting in tightly controlled conditions, the government confirmed as it eases a law banning remote gambling. The Ministry of Home Affairs has exempted state-linked Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club from legislation that blocks access to gambling sites and stops electronic payments to them.

Both Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club will launch online gaming services in the next two months but cannot offer casino-style games or poker, the ministry explained. They also are subject to fines of Sg$1.0 million (US$734,000) for every guideline breach.

Now, sports betting, especially top European football league matches, is deeply entrenched in wealthy Singapore, which currently has two casinos in operations. However, several hundred gambling sites, including those based overseas, have been blocked since the ban took effect last year, the ministry added.

“While our blocking regime is one of the most comprehensive in the world… it is not straightforward to eradicate remote gambling totally,” the ministry said. “A complete ban would only serve to drive more remote gambling underground, making it harder to detect, and exacerbate the associated law and order and social concerns. A tightly-controlled exempt operator regime mitigates such concerns.”