Singapore’s government made a significant announcement in relation to the igaming industry on Thursday; it will ease its law on remote gambling and allow limited online betting in ‘tightly controlled conditions’.
Both the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club will be the ones to benefit. They have been given exclusive exemption by the government from a law which blocks access to gambling sites and also prevents online payments to them.
Both Singapore Turf Club and Singapore Pools will now launch online gaming services within the next two months.
One of many stipulations however is that they will not be allowed to offer poker or casino games. There are also considerable fines in place SG$1 million (£565,000) should they breach any of the agreed upon guidelines.
The Ministry of Home Affairs stated: “While our blocking regime is one of the most comprehensive in the world… 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.
“A tightly-controlled exempt operator regime mitigates such concerns.”
The ministry likened its new stance to that of Hong Kong and Norway. Whether this decision by the government will lead to a further relaxation of policy, and a widening of regulators operated will be the question on many operators lips.
A report by The Strait Times in 2015 stated that the country’s online gambling industry was said to have brought in SG$500 million (£282.6m) the previous year prior to being shut down.