Singapore is taking a strong stance against internet gaming. Today, Singapore’s Second Minister, S. Iswaran announced that the government will be legislating new laws to ban online gambling.
Singapore’s position on online gambling is not new, and recently, this last May at the Casino Regulatory Authorities’ annual work plan seminar, Iswaran made a presentation on the harmfulness of internet gambling. Iswaran was quoted in stating that internet gambling is “a potentially more addictive form of gambling” in comparison to physical casinos.
The new law proposal follows new statistics in regards to Singapore’s online gaming habits. Problem gambling counselors in Singapore showed an increase of 5% in the amount of people seeking help for online gambling addiction in 2012, as opposed to 2011. A survey was also conducted by the Home Affairs Ministry with the participation of a 1,000 subjects. The survey showed that 30% of the participants have gambled online at least once in the past year.
The actions the Singapore government will take to enforce the new laws will include IP blocking of gaming providers, harsh restrictions and fines on banks and financial institutions which process gambling related transactions, banning advertisements that involve online gambling, and granting the authorities the power to move in on providers, facilitators and any third party intermediate.
Prior to the legislation, the government plans to hold a public consultation in front of gamblers. The new laws will allow exceptions with state-approved gambling, and similar to China, most likely will include state lotteries, and fixed-odds sports betting.
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Lately, with the news on legal countries imposing restrictions, like Germany and possibly the UK, and previously illegal countries like the US showing great promise, we are noticing a global shift in the acceptance and rejection of internet gambling
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