Singapore has officially brought together and inaugurated its new Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), which will take over from the old Casino Regulatory Authority.
The new regulator will now have control over a range of gambling services within the island nation – including lotteries, casinos, sport betting and loot boxes in online video games.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, where Second Minister for Home Affairs, Josephine Teo, discussed the shifting future for the gambling industry in Singapore – the basis of the new regulator taking control – saying: “There are more and more variants of gaming, gambling and games of chance, such as those involving cryptocurrencies or using crypto technology.”
Teo also spoke of the first challenges the regulator will undertake as it looks forward, stating it’ll focus on streamlining the licence approval process, with Singapore looking to approve more licences in the future.
Furthermore, its mandate will see it revise the Casino Control Act, with a view to expanding the regulatory regime. Currently, Singapore has two integrated resorts in Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa, but that looks set to change under the new system.
Ensuring stronger regulation is put in place to address the risks caused by online gambling is another priority for the new regulator, with a new requirement for loot/mystery boxes to be limited to SG$100 (US$73) already looking likely to be introduced early next year.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs commented on the up-and-coming regulation, saying: “The cap will prevent the inducement effect of high-value items and the normalisation of gambling among youth.”