The long overhaul of the gambling industry finally has an end in sight. This is after the country’s parliament proceeded with two gambling bills tabled before it. The bills are set to introduce regulatory changes that include clear rules of engagement. They are also set to enhance customer safety and boost competitiveness.
The changes in the Gambling Control bill include criminalizing various offenses. Some of the new offenses moving forward include underage gambling and proxy betting. But gambling with family or friends is set to be fine by the law. Licensing conditions are also set to be a new angle to gambling operations including pool products and fruit machines.
Singapore is also looking to draw a distinct line between high and low-risk gambling products. Those that fall under the low-risk category will receive an exemption from individual licensing to operate. Proxy betting will also be a serious crime should any casino be found to have permitted such activity on its establishment.
Desmond Tan emphasized that the responsibility falls on the casino’s shoulders to ensure casinos don’t allow proxy betting to take place in their establishments. The Minister of State of Home Affairs added that the restriction comes from the fear that excluded players or people with criminal connections may exploit proxy betting to gamble at casino resorts.
The regulations contained in the bills will see casinos face serious penalties in the event they fail to comply with the rules and regulations.
Singapore is also looking to introduce a regulatory body under the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore bill. The new gambling watchdog will go by the name Casino Regulatory Authority.
This bill describes the working of this regulatory body similar to the UK’s Gambling Commission. Its mandate will include regulating gambling in all its forms while providing enforcement and oversight. The current structure in the country is rather scattered with various branches within the government overseeing different gambling aspects. Introducing a complete authority in the industry will allow for efficient governing.
The Casino Regulatory Authority is set to launch later in 2022. But these regulations come at the back of another bill touching on tax rates. The Gambling Duties Bill increased the payable tax rate for casinos already in operation. While that may be a downside, the bill also came with several benefits. One of them includes extending Resorts Sentosa and Marina Bay’s exclusivity period to 2030.
Meanwhile, Singapore continues to crack the whip on illegal gambling activities. And more regulation will come in handy to fully rid the industry of illegal gambling.