Singapore’s new gambling laws survive final parliamentary vote

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Posted: March 14, 2022, 7:13 a.m.

Last update: March 14, 2022, 7:13 a.m.

Singapore is about to introduce new gambling laws in the country. A successful final reading of the updated laws in parliament last Friday paves the way for a major overhaul of the gambling landscape.

Singapore Parliament
The Singapore Parliament in session. One of the recent meetings found approval for new gambling laws. (Picture: Today)

Singapore is one of many countries currently reviewing their gambling laws. Like the others, he wants to introduce new rules and regulations to suit the new gambling environment. Much of the industry has changed due to the introduction of online gambling.

To that end, Singapore began working on an approach to gaming reform several years ago. He is now ready to put his plan into action, although there are a few more hurdles to clear first.

Singapore advances gaming reform

Last Friday, Singapore’s parliament reviewed new gambling laws. It was supposed to be the final exam and it passed without difficulty, according to GGRAAsia. The new Gaming Control Act is in place and will bring together the country’s various betting laws under one umbrella.

Lawmakers have updated definitions related to gambling activity to better distinguish between is and is not legal. There are now tough penalties for illegal gambling and even tougher penalties for repeat offenders.

There is also a provision that prohibits proxy gambling – locals will no longer be able to bet through friends or family members. Additionally, it is now a criminal offense to play underage, with a six-year prison sentence pending for any minor who tries.

Minor has two definitions. At almost all venues and online, the minimum age is 21. However, for Singapore Pools sites, the minimum age for lottery and sports betting sites is 18 years old.

All updates apply to land-based and online games of chance. However, there are also exceptions. As expected, a stipulation that the new laws do not cover “social” gaming – creating home gaming for friends and family – remained intact.

New regulator coming soon

Singapore’s new Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) is also coming soon. The regulator is part of the country’s overall reform and will oversee all forms of gambling. If everything stays on track, it will start doing business before the end of this summer.

Previously, different forms of play responded to different regulators. The GRA pulls everything together in hopes of creating an effective and productive regulatory body.

Synergies will result from the consolidation of gambling legislation and regulations. As the single regulator for all forms of gambling, the Gaming Regulatory Authority will be able to pool its resources and expertise to deal with the issue,said Home Secretary Desmond Tan.

A single regulator can more easily keep up with changes in the gaming industry, according to Tan. It can also provide a “coherent” response to surveillance.

To support the initiatives of the GRA, Singapore will draft a new Casino Control (Amendment) Bill. It will specifically address the regulator’s charter, as well as its responsibilities and capabilities.

With the ability to update regulations if needed in the future, the GRA gives Singapore a modern gaming industry. It will become a safer and more attractive industry on the international scene.

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