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Two Key Pieces of Legislation for the Gambling and Casino Sector Passed by the Singapore Parliament

A couple of days ago, Singapore’s Parliament gave the green light to two key pieces of legislation aimed at legalizing social gambling and criminalizing proxy and underage gambling. The bills also seek to impose stricter control on the local gambling sector in order to better protect a larger number of vulnerable people from gambling and potential gambling harm.

The Gambling Control Bill is seeking to criminalize both underage and proxy gambling and at the same time to provide an exemption for so-called social gambling among family members and friends. The piece of legislation is set to also establish a licensing regime for gambling products such as fruit machines, private-establishment gambling and Singapore Pools’ products and will also introduce a class licensing regime for gambling practices associated with lower risk that would not remand individual licenses for each product.

When it comes to proxy betting, the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs recently explained that this form of gambling should be suspended in the country, as the person located outside of the casino who orders what bets to be placed would have circumvented the entry checks, which are put in place to monitor individuals under entry bans.

Desmond Tan, the country’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, explained that casino operators would decide whether to ban proxy betting from their gaming floors. As reported by Channel News Asia, Mr. Tan explained that casino companies would be held liable to regulatory action should they fail to enforce effective protection measures on their gambling floors.

A Single Gambling Regulatory Authority Sought to Be Established in Singapore

As mentioned above, another piece of legislation was also passed at the time when the Gambling Control Bill was given the green light by the Singaporean Parliament. The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA) Bill seeks to reconstitute the Casino Regulatory Authority in order to establish it as the single watchdog for all forms of gambling offered in the country. Under the provisions of the GRA Bill, gambling regulatory expertise is set to be consolidated in a single agency, as it currently resides in different segments of Government agencies.

The Government agencies, in their turn, include not only the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) that regulates the two casino venues in the country but also the Singapore Totalisator Board that regulates Singapore Pools’ land-based gambling services, the Gambling Regulatory Unit in the Ministry of Home Affairs that governs fruit machines and online gambling services, and the Singapore Police Force that has the power to take enforcement action against unlawful gambling activities that take place on the territory of the country.

Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore confirmed that it plans to establish a new Gambling Regulatory Authority by the middle of the year. The Ministry stated that a new Casino Control (Amendment) Bill, which is seeking to strengthen the effectiveness of the GRA in casino regulation and ensure the relevance of casino regulations, will be unveiled at a later date.

In January, the Parliament of Singapore passed a new Gambling Duties Bill, which saw the tax rates for casino operators increased and the exclusivity period of the two integrated casino resorts in the country – Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands – extended until 2030.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.