Ministers speaking at Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority’s annual work plan seminar have been looking at ways to prevent online gambling by restricting access to sites, however there was also a huge hint that they could move towards regulation.
The Prime Minister’s Office revealed that the government is concerned about what it sees as the social risks associated with online gambling. The Minister for Home Affairs has committed to extensive research with industry experts to find out how other countries have regulated and taxed online gaming. Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran said the government was even considering new regulations to govern online gambling: “Online gambling is new and potentially more addictive form of gambling with greater access to the young and vulnerable,” he explained. “These risks will likely be magnified as the technology supporting online gambling further evolves. In Singapore, we remain resolute in our commitment to especially protect minors and vulnerable groups in our society from the harms of gambling, be it terrestrial or virtual. Therefore, the Government is studying measures that can be taken against online gambling, and to restrict access to, and patronage of, online gambling platforms. We recognise that there are practical challenges to this effort, not least because technological change will render complete eradication difficult. Our officials are working with industry experts to study the issues and learn from other jurisdictions, in order to formulate a strategy that is effective, relevant and sustainable. The study should be concluded by the end of the year.”
The Ministry will now work alongside the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Center to help form a better understanding of how online players think and how regulation could work.