The government of Singapore has reportedly announced plans that are to see it establish of a new centralized regulator so as to be able to take a more ‘holistic approach’ towards overseeing the local gaming industry.
According to a report from The Straits Times newspaper, the Gambling Regulatory Authority is to be launched by the end of the year under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs and will combine and replace the current Casino Regulatory Authority as well as the government’s own Gambling Regulatory Unit, which currently administers remote gambling and slots.
The Straits Times reported that the coming body will moreover incorporate the city-state’s Tote Board and work in partnership with the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the National Council on Problem Gambling in helping to address problem gambling issues.
The newspaper cited a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs in explaining that the Singapore Police Force is to remain in charge of stamping out all illegal gambling activities although the future Gambling Regulatory Authority will be able to ‘consolidate and optimize gambling regulatory resources within a single agency’.
Reportedly read a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs…
“This will allow the Gambling Regulatory Authority to stay even more effectively abreast of technological and global trends, respond faster to emerging products in particular those that cut across different domains and take a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.”
Local television broadcaster CNA reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs revealed that it also intends to review and amend gambling-related legislation this year so as to ensure Singapore can keep abreast of an ever-evolving landscape.
Reportedly read the Ministry of Home Affairs’ statement…
“Overall, our gambling regulatory framework has delivered good outcomes. Gambling-related crimes remain low in number and problem gambling is under control. However, there are emerging trends that can have a significant impact on the gambling landscape.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs reportedly used so-called ‘loot boxes’ as an example of where regulation needs to catch up with technology while proclaiming that ‘regulatory mechanisms can effectively address evolving gambling products and business models’.
The Ministry of Home Affairs statement reportedly read…
“We will also review the penalties for offences to ensure consistency across remote and terrestrial gambling. Even as we update our laws, Ministry of Home Affairs will retain a generally prohibitive stance towards gambling and continue to maintain a risk-based regulatory approach towards existing gambling operators.”