Singapore launches new Gambling Regulatory Authority

The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) is the new single regulator for all forms of gambling.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) is the new single regulator for all forms of gambling.

The new regulator will oversee lotteries, casinos, sports betting and loot boxes in online video games as part of its responsibilities.

Singapore.- Josephine Teo, Singapore’s second minister for home affairs has launched the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA). The regulator, which will oversee the entire gambling landscape in Singapore, will be led by Teo Chun Ching as chief executive.

The GRA Act grants the regulator authority to issue operator licences for gambling services such as betting and lottery businesses, gaming machine rooms, and gambling in private establishments, provided the licensees are considered “fit and proper”.

During the inauguration ceremony at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, Teo said: “There are more and more variants of gaming, gambling and games of chance, such as those involving cryptocurrencies or using crypto technology.”

Teo reaffirmed the government’s plans to enhance Singapore’s casino regulatory regime by revising the existing Casino Control Act.

The Gambling Control Bill will make it a criminal offence for under-aged individuals to gamble, “regardless whether with legal or unlawful operators” and for under-aged individuals to enter gambling areas, “except where entry checks are not required”.

Under the new bill, the legal age for gambling in Singapore will remain 21, except for gambling at Singapore Pools’ physical outlets which will remain at 18. Singapore currently hosts two casino resorts: Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp, and Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Ltd.

Marina Bay Sands has posted a second-quarter net revenue of US$679m, up 107.6 per cent year-on-year. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 184.8 per cent to US$319m.

Casino revenue at Marina Bay Sands increased 124.2 per cent year-on-year to US$500m. Rolling chip volume for VIP play was up 781.4 per cent to just over US$5.39bn. The casino operator reported that the mass-market chip drop was just under US$1.14bn, up 105.6 per cent.

Genting Singapore reported a rise in gaming revenue of 7.3 per cent year-on-year to nearly SGD475.2m in the first half of the year. The company reported that net profit fell by 4.3 per cent year-on-year to SGD84.4m (US$61.3m) while revenue was up 19.5 per cent to SGD663.1m.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at SGD268.7m, down 2.7 per cent year-on-year. Non-gaming revenue rose 64.9 per cent to just under SGD183m.

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