Online casinos have taken the world by storm in the mid 90s. Singapore and Singaporeans have always been in the midst of global trends, and are so when it comes to online gambling too.
Following are a few facts, milestones and trivia regarding the industry.
There is no law in Singapore that refers specifically to online gambling although the only legal gambling officially permitted by the government is betting at the Singapore Turf Club (horseracing) and the Singapore pools.
Many of the major international casinos service the Singaporean population and the government has not taken any major steps to curtail or ban gambling online.
A First in Casino Gambling
The situation becomes even more ambiguous with regards to the Marina Bay Sands resort, Singapore's first ever casino being developed by one of the world's biggest gambling companies in central Singapore. Completion of the project is forecast for 2009.
With Las Vegas Sands investing S$3.85 billion into the project, in addition to the S$1.2 billion site cost, Marina Bay Sands is estimated to be the most expensive casino in the world.
A Growing Industry
In spite of the industry's undetermined legal status, online gambling is growing fast. According to a survey commissioned in September 2006, 59% of respondents had participated in at least one form of gambling within the last 12 months.
Sports betting and online table games continue to grow in popularity and the National Council on Problem Gambling was founded in 2005 to address the issue of problem gambling.
Working committees have been set up to determine the pros and cons of legalising casino and online gambling in Singapore. Such a move would pave the way to increased tourism levels and a welcome flood of taxes. Legalisation and regulation are likely to create even more online gaming choices for the Singaporean player and are expected to become reality in just a matter of time.
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