As per latest news reports, Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will soon establish a new gambling regulator called the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) by mid-2022. On Monday, two key bills were introduced for their first reading in the parliament.
The news reports further add that the GRA Bill will reconstitute the Casino Regulatory Authority in order to establish itself as the sole regulator for all forms of gambling. The GRA Bill will also unite all gambling regulatory expertise under a single agency.
Currently, this regulatory expertise falls under different government agencies like the Casino Regulatory Authority that regulates two of Singapore’s casinos, the Gambling Regulatory Unit in the Ministry of Home Affairs that regulates online gambling services and fruit machines, the Singapore Totalisator Board which looks over physical gambling services operated by Singapore Pools, and the Singapore Police Force that takes action against unlawful gambling activities.
With regards to the bill, MHA said, “To stay ahead of technological and global trends, respond more adequately to emerging gambling products and take a more holistic and coherent approach to gambling policies and issues, we should rationalize and consolidate. The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill will establish the GRA as the single regulator for all forms of gambling. We aim to establish the GRA in mid-2022.”
The Gambling Control Bill which updates the gambling laws and regulatory approaches, was also introduced in the parliament. The bill will cover unlawful gambling offenses and the regulation of non-casino gambling, once it is passed, four current laws will be repealed – the Betting Act (BA), Common Gaming Houses Act (CGHA), Private Lotteries Act, and Remote Gambling Act (RGA).
The definition of gambling will also be amended to cover both existing and emerging betting products. However, it will not cover financial products as the MHA has no intention of treating it as gambling products.
It will also look at exempting ‘social gambling’ among friends and family, establish a licensing regime for products such as fruit machines, Singapore Pools’ products, and gambling at private establishments. MHA will also introduce a class licensing regime for lower-risk gambling practices where products don’t have to be individually licensed. The Gambling Control Bill will also criminalize proxy betting and underage gambling for the first time.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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