Singapore to restrict online gambling

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday launched a public consultation exercise to seek views and feedback on the proposed framework to restrict remote gambling in the country.

Online gambling is increasingly popular in Singapore, which has strict laws on gambling to "maintain law and order and to minimise the potential harm, especially to the young and vulnerable," the MHA said.

"We intend to extend this same approach to remote gambling by making it illegal unless there are exemptions," it added.

Public consultations will last until 10 January 2013.

"MHA together with the Ministry of Social and Family Development and other government agencies have been studying the issue of remote gambling," a statement said. "We have studied the remote gambling landscape and regulatory approaches taken by other jurisdictions. We intend to restrict remote gambling. We will introduce laws to act against facilitators, intermediaries and providers of remote gambling services. We will introduce measures to block access to gambling websites, block payments to remote gambling operators and prohibit advertisements promoting remote gambling. We will also strengthen public education with regard to remote gambling and gambling simulation games. The above measures will send a clear signal of our regulatory stance."

Singapore allowed a restricted form of physical gambling in 2005, and now hosts two casinos - Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.

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