The Singapore government is set to implement new laws that will block access to online gambling websites, prevent payments to remote gambling operators and outlaw advertisements that promote online gambling in the country.
The Yahoo! News Singapore website reports S Iswaren, Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs, announced the potential measures at a symposium on casino regulation and crime on Thursday.
He said that as remote gambling has become more popular in the country, so have the associated risks that accompany it.
The National Council for Problem Gambling published a survey in 2011 that stated just 1% of respondents in Singapore had gambled online.
A recent study found that 30% of the 1,000 respondents had gambled remotely at least once in the past year.
Analysts now value the online gambling market in Singapore at S$376 million (€220.1 million/$299.4 million) and expect this to grow between 6% and 7% annually.
“While such measures may not be foolproof, they will impede access to remote gambling platforms and send a clear signal of the regulatory stance in Singapore,” Iswaren said.
“It is ubiquitously and easily accessible through the internet and mobile applications, especially by a younger and more tech-savvy generation.”
Iswaren also said online gambling could become a source for other illegal activities and syndicated crime and called for a heightened international collaboration between regulators and national enforcement agencies.
“These trends in remote gambling illustrate the dynamic nature of the gaming industry, which will continue to evolve and present new challenges for regulators and law enforcers,” he said.