Singapore Inaugurates New Gaming Regulator to Create Stronger Regulatory Regime
- The Gambling Regulatory Authority was officially inaugurated on August 16
- The GRA was established under regulatory changes approved in March 2022
- The new agency will now oversee all forms of gambling services in Singapore
Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) has officially begun taking on its role as the country’s new gambling regulator following its inauguration on August 16.
The GRA replaces the Casino Regulatory Authority which previously took charge of Singapore’s gambling market. Its former head, Teo Chun Ching, also serves as chief executive of the new agency.
Gov. Facing New Challenges with the Rise of Online Gambling
During the ceremony, Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo shared the government’s plans for the gambling sector, with particular focus on building a stronger regulatory framework for the industry, especially at a time when online gambling is becoming more prevalent.
She said the government is faced with bigger challenges now as new variants of gaming and gambling continue to emerge. Minister Teo cited the popularity of cryptocurrency which has now been adopted by multiple online gambling operators.
Singapore’s existing gambling laws will be reviewed by the government, with the GRA also set to streamline the licensing process. Minister Teo said more details will be announced soon.
GRA To Supervise All Forms of Gambling
The country’s new gaming regulator has been established under the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Act which was approved by the Singaporean parliament back in March, alongside another gambling law amendment, the Gambling Control Act, which bans proxy gambling. Both legislations came into force on August 1.
All forms of gambling in Singapore will now fall within the remit of the GRA. It has the sole authority to grant operator licenses for all gambling services, such as betting, lottery, gambling in private venues, and gaming machine rooms. Operators need to prove they are “fit and proper” to offer a gambling service in Singapore before they are issued a license.
The GRA Act also establishes class licensing regimes for gambling products classified as “lower-risk“, including business promotion lucky draws. Operators don’t have to secure individual licenses for such services but they must fully comply with the class license requirements.
Singapore’s land-based casino gambling is controlled by two casino resorts – the Marina Bay Sands, owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp, and Resorts World Sentosa, run by Genting Singapore Ltd. Both casinos have had their duopoly extended to 2030 and have invested around S$4.5 billion each to expand their facilities. The expansion projects were announced in 2019 but construction works have been disrupted due to the pandemic.