Singapore Set To Become More Restrictive By Criminalising Proxy Gambling
- Singapore has now made proxy gambling a criminal act
- Analysts say the decision was to close a loophole in existing regulations
- Offenders will receive jail time and be hit with a big fine
Gambling analysts are of the view that Singapore’s recent decision to criminalise proxy gambling is about fixing a loophole in previous gaming legislation. Newpage Consulting’s David Green opined that the development reflects Singapore’s wish to exercise stringent control to limit the problem of proxy gambling.
New Amendment Seeks Fine, Jail Term for Offenders
Referring to Singapore’s Casino Control Act (CCA) of 2006, Green said that the objective of the said legislation was to rout out every bit of criminal influence from casinos and ensure minimal harm. The CCA was followed by the opening of two casino resorts in 2010 in Singapore with Marina Bay Sands, run by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Genting Singapore Ltd. run Resorts World Sentosa.
Industry consultant Ben Lee also offered his views on the matter. He said that the criminalisation of proxy gambling in Singapore is another step by the government to ensure stronger control over problem-gambling measures. The city-state already has the strictest anti-problem gambling measures on the globe that include an entry levy on its citizens and permanent residents.
Lee said that there is a low possibility of the legislation having any ties to Singapore’s diplomatic relations with China. The latter has announced plans to blacklist locations that target Chinese residents who participate in land-based gambling and iGaming.
The new amendment to the CCA 2006 entails a 12 month jail term or a fine of circa $7,400 or both, if it involves any person who is absent in the city-state’s casino halls placing bets through someone else. The provision is a part of the new Gambling Control Bill that was first read by the Singaporean parliament on 14 February 2022. Lee said that the advent is likely to address some local issues in Singapore that have been on radar for quite some time. Even the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) confirmed that such incidents have happened in the past.
MoHA Cites Lack of Legislation for Inability to Nab Culprits
MoHA further stated that since proxy gambling was not criminalised previously, it was difficult to apprehend individuals who placed bets in casinos through their contacts and acquaintances. Both Green and Lee agreed that the new legislation was an attempt to tie the loose ends and restrict the possibility of casinos being used for terror-financing and money-laundering.
Singapore is not the lone wolf when it comes to considering stricter measures to curb proxy gambling. Concerns regarding the same are also rife in Macau and have given rise to discussions on anti-money laundering measures.