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Singapore public asked for feedback on proposed amendments to gambling laws

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is asking the public for feedback on proposed amendments to gambling laws.

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Such amendments involve social gambling, online games and claw machines, with the MHA also proposing to increase penalties for repeat offenders who facilitate or operate illegal gambling services. The definition of gambling will also be amended in order to encompass emerging products.

The MHA will amend the legislation later this year in order to ensure that Singapore’s laws remain effective amid evolving gambling products and business models. It comes after the ministry reached a decision in April 2020 to set up a new gambling regulator by 2021.

Gambling-related crimes do, however, remain low in the country, with the number of arrests for illegal gambling activities remaining stable from 2011 to 2020, according to the MHA. And recent surveys show that problem gambling also remains under control.

But the ministry is wary of new features within the industry that could disrupt such stability. 

“To continue to enjoy these good outcomes, we need to make sure that our laws and regulations can address two trends in the gambling landscape,” the MHA said.

“First, advancements in technology. The internet and mobile computing have made gambling products more accessible.

“Second, the boundaries between gambling and gaming have blurred. Business models have adapted to suit changing customer preferences by introducing gambling elements in products that are traditionally not perceived as gambling.”

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