Singapore’s GRA Will Focus On Illegal iGaming and Gambling Harm Prevention
- New gambling watchdog takes control in Singapore
- GRA will focus on illegal iGaming activities
- Gambling watchdog will also look to work on gambling harm prevention
Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) CEO Teo Chun Ching has confirmed that the regulatory body will continue its predecessor’s efforts to prevent gambling harm. The GRA was inaugurated in a ceremony held on August 16, 2022. The body replaced the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) which served as the gambling watchdog in the past.
GRA to Tackle Illegal Gambling
Ching laid out the immediate plans for the gambling watchdog in CRA’s annual report for the year 2021-22. Teo also elaborated on how the GRA would tackle the problem of illegal iGaming by partnering with agencies such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority. According to him, the new body will try to block offshore gambling platforms and illegal financial transactions with the assistance of its partners.
Teo added that the GRA would use data analytics to zero in on instances of non-compliance and other follies by legalized gambling entities. The new regulator will also develop a sandbox environment to help officers test their knowledge of data analytics. The GRA will now have a wider ambit of supervision as it will monitor more licensees and gambling products. In the same report, GRA chairman Tan Tee How outlined the CRA’s positive contributions in curbing gambling harm.
The old regulator had worked closely with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the Singapore Police Force, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSFD) to bust gambling-related crimes. The chairman appreciated the CRA for successfully controlling gambling crimes and problem gambling in the city-state. Tan highlighted that the various social safeguard measures mollified the concerns about the potential harm caused by casinos.
Tan cautioned Singapore regulators to stay abreast of upcoming developments in the gambling industry, especially online gaming products which is illegal in Singapore. Tan said that the GRA would develop a calibrated set of capability-building and risk-management measures and separately assess the risk profile of every product.
Tan Notes CRA Approach Towards Casino Duopoly
Tan also made a few observations about the CRA’s approach to maintaining Singapore’s casino resort duopoly. Currently, the city-state has two casinos- the Marina Bay Sands and the Resorts World Sentosa. The two casinos are operated by the Las Vegas Sands Corp and Genting Singapore Ltd., respectively.
The CRA was replaced by the new regulatory body, after Singapore’s parliament passed the new Gambling Regulatory Authority act in March. The legislation became effective in August.