Singapore Starts Consultation for Proposed Gambling Law Reform

Gambling News is reporting

Gambling laws in Singapore are about to get tougher, as Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said it would seek public input to steer a more comprehensive regulatory framework on the country’s gambling industry.

The ministry is responding to a now tangible overlap between online gambling and gaming, with the terms often used interchangeably by the gambling industry. Another concern is the change in the technological makeup of gambling operations, which is another issue that the ministry wants to address. This comes in the broader context of Singaporeans turning to illegal gambling websites, whether knowingly or unwittingly.

Illegal Gambling Out, Social Gambling in Crosshairs

Singapore will effectively be amending its Remote Gambling Act to make it more serious about responding to wrongdoers. One particular aspect of the proposed changes is to increase the penalties for repeat offenders, referring to parties or individuals who facilitate illegal gambling activities or solicit participation for such websites.

Under the proposed changes, illegal operators and their owners, can be fined up to $500,000 and face up to seven years in prison. The ministry also wants to follow other jurisdictions’ examples in creating a technology-neutral industry that is not hindered by the ill definition of what constitutes a gambling product and what doesn’t.

Financial products, for example, will be left out completely and not considered gambling. The ministry will also seek to put forward clear-cut guidelines on what constitutes gambling and differentiate between that and social gambling or games with gambling elements. Gambling in social circles, such as between family and friends, will not be prohibited.

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