Earlier this year the authorities in Singapore set in motion an inquiry into online gambling in order to protect its citizens from problems that may be associated with gambling. Since the Singapore government discussed imposing restrictions on the number of times its residents could visit land based casinos, many groups were concerned that some vulnerable people could turn instead to gambling in unregulated online casinos.
This move was seen by those in favour of online gambling as a blow to the industry but now with further measures to be taken against online casino operators the situation appears to be even worse.Two major casino groups hold licences to operate land based casino resorts in Singapore. These licence holders are the Las Vegas Sands and the Genting Singapore Group which runs the Resorts World Sentosa Casino. Singapore has become one of the world’s major gambling centres but the country’s citizens are already subject to strict gambling regulation and following a recent government announcement this regulation will soon include online gambling. At a meeting on casino regulation and crime held at the end of November, the Home affairs deputy minister announced that legislation to restrict online gambling is being considered by the government.
Legislators are looking into means of preventing internet gambling falling into the hands of criminals or causing problems for the vulnerable or being accessed by minors. Some of the measures under discussion include limiting marketing and advertising, blocking access to certain types of sites and placing financial restrictions on online casino operators. A government spokesperson has claimed that the very strict type of regulation in place in the country regarding gambling in land based casinos will be put in place to control access to online casinos. Since the Singapore authorities have already placed limitations on their citizens’ access to gambling, they will also engage in an education programme about online gambling.