Online gambling will become legal in Singapore under tightly controlled conditions. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) approved applications of two operators: Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club.
MHA announced in their statement that the two companies were found suitable to be exempted from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA), which came into force in February last year.
Singapore Pools will launch its web-based betting services on October 25 and Turf Club will launch new web and mobile platform on November 15. Both companies will offer online gambling for existing games and lotteries. Neither of them is permitted to offer new products without approval. Further, casino games or poker will not be available either.
The operators will also have to maintain social safeguards. Only those aged 21 and above will be able to open player accounts, no gambling on credit will be allowed, daily funding and gambling limits will have to be set. The fines of SG$1 million would be faced if the companies breach any of the conditions.
“ While our blocking regime is one of the most comprehensive in the world, and significantly restricts and impedes access to remote gambling, it is not straightforward to eradicate remote gambling totally. A complete ban would only serve to drive more remote gambling underground, making it harder to detect, and exacerbate the associated law and order and social concerns,” MHA said on the occasion.
“A tightly-controlled exempt operator regime mitigates such concerns. The stringent exempt operator regime is part of our multi-pronged strategy to deal with remote gambling, which includes comprehensive legislation, enforcement, blocking measures and public education.”
The exemption certificates will be valid for three years. Operators will have the option to renew them.