Originally passed earlier this year, the Gambling Control Act of Singapore comes into effect today. The law bans proxy gambling via gaming machines in the region. The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore will begin working on consolidating the authorities involved in overseeing the gaming industry, taking on the responsibilities of the old Casino Regulatory Authority.

More on the Gambling Control Act

The new law considers it a criminal act to conduct or facilitate proxy gambling in relation to any game outside a gaming machine room. Anyone caught in the act in Singapore will be subject to a penalty of as much as one year or a fine of SGD10,000 ($7,240). Both may also be issued.

The law defines the offense as someone participating in a game of chance using a machine that is a gaming machine room or a player of the game, even if the individual is not in the game gaming room.

There is a penalty structure consisting of three tiers connected to gambling offenses and online and offline gaming. The structure differentiates the acts of operators, agents, and bettors. Anyone who takes part in gambling with an underage individual or gambles with another person for an underage person can spend up to six years in jail, a fine as high as SGD300,000, or both penalties.

The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) will now act as a single regulator and be better suited to stay on top of gambling and tech trends. Officials will have the capacity to respond to emerging gambling products and provide a quality approach to gambling policies.

The GRA will work with the National Council on Problem Gambling and the Ministry of Social and Family Development to protect players from harm. The Singapore Police Force will be utilized to help take action against illegal gambling.

Risk-Calibrated Approach to Gambling Activities

In the announcement of the law coming into effect, it was stated that the GRA will be taking a risk-calibrated approach when it comes to gambling activities. The regulators have the power to issue licenses for betting and lottery gaming along with private establishment wagering and gaming machine rooms.

Every license holder must be reviewed and ensure they are fit and proper to obtain licensing. The same process will be devoted to lower-risk gambling products, including drawings via regional business promotions.

The Gambling Control Act allows family and friends to gamble socially from home but does not include online gaming.