Singapore announces penalties for violating new gambling act


Gambling regulators at Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are overhauling their country’s gaming code with an emphasis on re-defining what is actually gambling and how violators of the Remote Gambling Act should be punished. It’s part of a multi-year effort to put the country’s gaming code in line with contemporary technology.

One of the key purposes of the proposed legislation in Singapore is to re-define, and clarify what activities actually constitute gambling. In a world where technology is bringing new gaming products to market on a regular basis, this is job is a lot harder than it may sound. For example, where does social gaming among family members fall on the spectrum? Though MHA officials concede that there’s nothing wrong with the activity, but they’ve also decided to ban online social gaming between family members illegal. In-person family gambling is still legal.

Officials are also changing verbiage within the Act to make it more technology neutral and, in doing so, make regulating future gambling technologies a lot easier. For example, the new Act contains a $100 cap on mystery and loot boxes – gambling products that have only emerged in the last decade or so.

In a statement reported on by iGaming Business, an MHA official described the philosophy behind the new rules saying, “‚ÄúSingapore adopts a strict but practical approach in its regulation of gambling. It is not practical nor desirable in fact, to disallow all forms of gambling, as this will just drive it underground, and cause more law and order issues. Instead, we license or exempt some gambling activities, with strict safeguards put in place.”

The public has until August 15 to comment on the proposed changes to the Remote Gambling Act.