Singapore Pools, Turf Club gets go ahead for remote gambling

Singapore locals will soon have a legal means to bet online, after Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club were given the go ahead to run online betting platforms.

The operators have been exempted from the Remote Gambling Act by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which was first introduced in February 2015.

However, as expected, the exemptions comes with conditions.

According to local media, only players above the age of 21 will be allowed to open accounts, and players will be required to set daily limits on how much they want to spend on online gambling.

Players will not be able to gamble on credit, and online gamblers will be checked against the self-exclusion and regular casino exclusion databases.

Advertising of remote gambling services is also forbidden.

Singapore Pools is set to launch its online betting services on October 25, offering lotteries for 4D and Toto, and online betting for football and Formula 1, whilst Singapore Turf Club will launch its online and mobile platform on November 15, 2016 offering horse-race betting online.

Casino games such as poker will not be available.

At the same time, an online petition against the legalization of online gambling in Singapore has been floating on social media. As of Thursday, it had more than 12,000 signatures.

However, the Ministry said the exemptions would help keep Singaporeans gambling on safe, local avenues – rather than going offshore.

“A complete ban on remote gambling drives demand and activities underground, and may create larger incentives for criminal syndicates to target Singapore,” said MHA.

“The greater the extent of underground illegal activities, the greater the risk to law and order, and the greater the danger to individuals who might be involved in underground remote gambling.”