New Singapore gambling regulator delayed

Authorities want to launch the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) this year.
Authorities want to launch the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) this year.

Tan Tee How, Casino Regulatory Authority chairman, said the creation of a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Singapore.- The creation of a new gambling regulatory regulator in Singapore has been delayed. In July, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), had said he wanted to launch a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), this year but Tan Tee How, Casino Regulatory Authority chairman says the schedule has been delayed.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had made it difficult for the CRA officers to focus on creating the new regulator; a process that requires “intensive face-to-face discussions.” It is unknown if the new gambling regulator will finally be launched this year.

The proposed changes by the Ministry of Home Affairs included fines of up to $500,000 and seven years imprisonment for an operator of illegal gambling services.

Another amendment would allow physical social gambling among family and friends while online social gambling among families and friends would remain banned “due to the complexities of differentiation.”

The MHA also wants to introduce a prize cap of SGD100 (US$74) for mystery boxes, arcade games and claw machines arguing that this will be sufficient to address the inducement effect of high-value prizes, without increasing the regulatory burden on operators. 

Singapore’s gambling regulation is currently supervised by various government agencies. Casino Regulatory Authority regulates casinos, while MHA’s gaming regulatory agency regulates remote gambling services and fruit machines. 

The Singapore Totalisator Board manages the ground gambling service operated by Singapore Pools. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) takes enforcement actions against illegal gambling activities.

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