Singapore parliament approves wide-ranging Gambling Control Act

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The parliament of Singapore reportedly approved the city-state’s proposed Gambling Control Act on Friday alongside a measure that will see the jurisdiction establish an official regulatory agency for all local forms of gambling.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the government for the former British enclave earlier asserted that the provisions contained within the Gambling Control Act would allow it to stay abreast of new technologies that are changing the ways people enjoy a flutter while blurring the lines between the various forms of gambling entertainment. The source detailed that the fresh legislation was formulated under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs following concerns over the growing use of so-called ‘loot boxes,’ which often allow video game aficionados under the age of 18 to purchase potentially-addictive in-game rewards.

Considerable clampdown:

Singapore is home to approximately 5.4 million inhabitants and the new Gambling Control Act will reportedly increase the penalties for locals found guilty of illegal gambling regardless of whether these activities have taken place online or within a physical premises. The fresh legislation is to also purportedly seek to crack down on anyone found culpable of facilitating such illicit goings-on via a raft of heightened punishments.

Substitute sanction:

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In addition to this and the new legislation is to reportedly introduce a wholesale ban on ‘proxy gambling,’ which sees casino players utilize technologies such as audio headsets and video links in order to place physical wagers via a stand-in despite not being present in the land-based venue. Local authorities purportedly declared that this measure was undertaken because ‘the decision-maker would have bypassed the entry checks put in place to screen out individuals of concern’ including those who may already be prohibited from entering the enclave’s casinos or slot parlors.

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Adolescent armor:

GGRAsia reported that the Gambling Control Act will moreover make it a criminal offense for underage individuals to gamble ‘regardless whether with legal or unlawful operators’ and bring in a maximum six-year prison term for anyone found guilty of facilitating such activities.

Regulatory renewal:

The Home Affairs Minister for Singapore, Desmond Tam, reportedly asserted that the two fresh pieces of legislation were ‘necessary’ so as to ensure local authorities can ‘continue to address the law-and-order and the social concerns arising from gambling and also to keep pace with the evolving gambling landscape.’ He furthermore purportedly noted that the new Gambling Regulatory Authority is to now replace the existing Casino Regulatory Authority from later this year as the ‘single regulator for all forms of gambling.’

Reportedly read a statement from Tam…

“As the single regulator for all forms of gambling, the Gambling Regulatory Authority will be able to pool resources and expertise together to deal with the issue. This will allow the Gambling Regulatory Authority to keep pace with trends in the gambling landscape more effectively and take a more holistic and coherent approach to gambling policies and issues.”

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