Placing bets have been part of Singaporeans’ lives, whether you noticed it or not. If you haven’t, just check out the queues at “popular” Singapore pools spots and you would know.
Online betting used to be available in Singapore, but was banned in the last couple of years due to the Remote Gambling Act. That meant that gambling through remote communication such as websites or mobile apps were illegal.
Online betting is always a gray area of legislation in Singapore, but several hundred gambling sites were blocked off to Singaporeans and law breakers could have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months.
Recently, however, there has been news about Singapore Pools and Turf Club being given approval for online betting. Here are 6 facts about legal online betting in Singapore you should know.
It’s now legal again
Online betting was exempted from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) in early 2015, provided if operators met “suitable requirements.” For those of us who weren’t even aware, the two operators Turf Club and Singapore Pools had launched online services in late 2015.
Singapore Turf Club
Singapore Turf Club had applied for exemption certificates back in May 2015, and was eventually approved by the government after meeting a list of criteria such as operating on a not-for-profit basis, having their surpluses directed to social and charitable causes, and keeping services free from criminal activities. Turf Club offers horse race betting online, and other existing games.
Singapore Pools applied for their exemption certificates in July 2015. They offer lotteries for 4D and Toto, and both Singapore Pools and Turf Club would not be able to offer new products without approval. Casino games such as poker would not be available too, so keep that in mind. The operators would also be required to implement social safeguards, which include ensuring that only those of legal age would be allowed to register for accounts and that people are not gambling on credit.
Families would be relieved to hear this. Additionally, both operators would be required to set daily funding and gambling limits, and be subjected to regular audits and inspections. The government have also imposed a penalty of up to S$1 million for each offence along with potential revocation or suspension of its certificate should the operators fail to comply with these conditions.
Exemptions for other operators
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated that they had not received any exemption applications apart from the two operators due to its “stringent criteria.” Many operators would not qualify for the conditions and not granted exemption certificates unless they are “fully satisfied.” Thorough assessments were also carried out for about a year to process these exemptions.
Reason for these exemptions
While some of the people who placed bets would be thrilled to know this, their families might be worried sick. However the reason for this exemption, according to the government was due to the fact that a complete ban drove more remote gambling underground. This is understandable, since it would be harder to detect, and will affect law and order, and other social concerns.
Featured Image: remembersingapore.org
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com