Singapore Looks to Restrict Online Gambling ActivityPublished March 17, 2014
The Singaporean government gets ready to tackle online gambling head-on!
Presently, the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs is conducting extensive research into the gambling operations of multiple countries and jurisdictions.
The MHA does not have a standardized
approach that it wishes to apply to the online gambling market, because there
are many such approaches that can be taken. For example, Singapore can limit
remote gambling to just one or two operators, and regulate them accordingly.
Alternatively, Singapore can go the other way and do what the United Kingdom and the European Union have done – allow complete access to fully regulated online gaming.
- There are many other approaches that can be adopted including the following:
- Extend all traditional gambling legislation to all remote gambling activities
- Allow for the introduction of new legislation that expressly caters to online gambling activity
- Differentiate between social gaming and remote gambling for the public good
The issue is further complicated by the fact that outright banning of remote gambling does not stop players from enjoying online casino games. Foreign operators, unlicensed operators or underground operations may take root. Companies simply change their URLs in order to avoid detection by the authorities.
Presently, it is not 100% clear which
direction the government in Singapore will take in respect of online gambling
activity. One avenue available to them is providing exclusive licensing to a
single operator that is government controlled.
Singapore Pools may be that particular operator. In order to make this effective, the government will be tasked with shutting down all other operations – an insuperable tasked in the short to medium term.