Singapore market reform
Singapore’s Gambling Control Bill Singapore recently passed the next stage of gambling reform with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ recommendation for a holistic update to Singapore’s gambling laws reports Kok Keng Lau
A dvancements in technology have made gambling products more accessible while emerging business models have blurred the distinction between gambling and gaming. Singapore has always adopted a strict but pragmatic approach towards gambling, allowing only some forms of gambling in a controlled and safe environment. On 11 March 2022, the Gambling Control Bill (“GC Bill”) and the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill (“GRA Bill”) were passed in Parliament. This marked the next stage of the reform of Singapore’s gambling regime which began in 2021 with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (“MHA”) recommendation for a holistic update to Singapore’s gambling laws. INTRODUCTION The passage of the GC Bill and GRA Bill in Parliament on 11 March 2022 marks the next stage of the reform of Singapore’s gambling regime. This began in 2021 with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (“MHA”) recommendation for a holistic update to be undertaken to Singapore’s gambling laws. This was followed by further recommendations pursuant to a public consultation on MHA’s proposed amendments to gambling laws in Singapore, which public consultation was open for feedback from 12 July to 10 August 2021. Through the GC Bill and GRA Bill, Singapore has taken another step towards fully modernising its gambling
regulatory framework by way of a significant overhaul and consolidation of the regulatory regime. When the new Gambling Control Act (“GCA”) comes into force, it will replace previously enacted gambling-related legislation such as the Betting Act (“BA”), Common Gaming Houses Act (“CGHA”), Private Lotteries Act (“PLA”) and Remote Gambling Act (“RGA”), while the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Act (“GRASA”) will reconstitute the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore renaming it as the Gambling Regulatory Authority (“GRA”), paving the way for the GRA to regulate the entire gambling industry (including the two licensed casinos) in Singapore. FEATURES OF THE NEW GAMBLING CONTROL ACT In a nutshell, the new GCA seeks to: a. Update gambling laws and regulatory approaches to keep pace with the evolving gambling landscape; b. Legalise physical social gambling; c. Criminalise underage and proxy gambling; and d. Introduce new licensing regimes. Given that the GCA consolidates, replaces, and updates four existing sets of gambling legislation, it is a very lengthy statute that spans some 227 pages. The key changes introduced by the GCA are summarized below.
24 • IMGL Magazine • April 2022
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker