From today, it will be legal to play mahjong or poker in Singapore homes under the new Gambling Control Act.
Singapore.- The government of Singapore has finally established that social gambling in the form of mahjong and poker at home will be allowed under the new Gambling Control Act. The games must take place in one of the player’s homes and must not be part of a business.
Online social gambling will remain banned as the Ministry of Home Affairs noted practical difficulties in determining whether individuals are familiar enough with each other for a game to qualify as social gambling. The law will come into effect today (August 1).
In March, the Singapore parliament approved the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill and the Gambling Control Bill. The former creates the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) as a single regulator for all forms of gambling.
The second 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 expects an increase in foreign visitors in H2
The government of Singapore says it is confident that visitor numbers for the second half of the year will be up by at least two-thirds when compared to the first half figures. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) expects “between 4 and 6 million” international visitor arrivals for the whole of 2022.
However, the STB also noted tourist traffic may still face headwinds for the remainder of the year due to the volatile global political and economic situation and the ongoing impact of Covid-19.