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Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bans the Use of Cryptocurrency in Brick-and-Mortar Casinos

The gambling regulatory body of Singapore has unveiled a full ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in brick-and-mortar casinos across the country.

The General Counsel of the watchdog, Albert Yeo, explained that local casinos have not been interested in taking advantage of the volatile revenue stream that is usually associated with cryptocurrencies. The newly-established regulatory authority is aimed at preventing digital currencies from entering casino venues in Singapore as early as possible because allowing the use of cryptocurrencies in the sector would be much more difficult to stop once it began. As revealed by Mr. Yao, the agency is currently examining the implementation of a special legislative framework in order to prevent the use of digital currencies in brick-and-mortar casino venues.

As mentioned above, the newly-formed Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) has officially announced that land-based casinos in Singapore would no longer be permitted to accept cryptocurrencies as a legal payment method.

GRA’s General Counsel revealed that, for the time being, the Singaporean gambling watchdog is engaging with certain game developers in order to better understand the implications of blockchain-based games some of which allowed players to trade so-called non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Reportedly, the regulatory body is finding it hard to understand whether digital currency constitutes money, money equivalent, or anything of value. Furthermore, if players can earn cryptocurrency in a certain game, they are easily able to withdraw it and put it on exchanges.

New Gambling Watchdog Aimed at Keeping Regulation of Singapore’s Gambling Sector Up to Date

The broader unwillingness of the country’s Government to regulate the use or trading of digital currencies has eventually extended to a broader suspension of advertising by crypto exchanges. In a statement issued in November 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore highlighted the risks of dealing in digital currencies, explaining that crypto exchanges can and do fail sometimes, which makes them extremely volatile and, as a result, many of them end up losing their value.

The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore was officially established in August 2022 to replace the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) as a body responsible for the oversight of the entire gambling market in the country. This happened through the inception of the Gambling Control Act and the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Act in March 2022, with both pieces of legislation coming into force on August 1st, 2022. Now, the body oversees all forms of gambling available in the country, including some new products that use certain technology solutions aimed at making the differences between gambling and gaming less detectible and clear.

Since its establishment, the gambling watchdog has been trying to keep pace with the latest trends in the gambling and technology sectors. For the time being, the GRA remains mostly focused on the use of digital currencies in online gambling, as tracking so-called blockchain transactions has been recognized as a significant challenge for regulatory bodies across the globe.

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs reviewed and revised the country’s Casino Control Act in order to reflect the latest changes in the gambling industry, with the new gambling regulatory body refreshing the licensing regime to issue more operating permits for gambling services that bring both lower and higher risk for consumers. As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the new watchdog of the sector has pursued the objective of taking a more graceful and holistic approach in order to stay up-to-date with the gambling industry’s pace of change.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.