Gambling has been a matter of contention for the longest of time in most parts of the world. Some countries abruptly place blanket bans on it while others try to regulate it. The regulations range from blocking betting websites, making in-person gambling illegal. Other countries like Turkey provide no form of tolerance for gambling with ethical and moral reasons against it. In Southeast Asia countries like Singapore, the situation is a little bit different.
The RGA (Remote Gambling Act) is the 5th out of 5 Acts about gambling in Singapore. This Act revamped the gambling industry, imposing a new approach to legal betting and still maintaining some restrictions. This Act place bans on most forms of online betting.
The UK has one of the biggest markets for gamblers and fueled by more economic reasons to have let the sector thrive. In 2016, the government made it illegal for Singaporeans to take part in off-shore betting with very harsh consequences.
Singaporeans were only allowed to place bets in just two local sites: Singapore pools, Singapore Turf Club. However, punters only have access to categories like Horse racing, Lottery and sports with restrictions on online gambling in Singapore.
What Online betting now looks like in Singapore
The question is; what made the government loosen the restrictions on online casinos. Overtime Singapore government has realized that the harsh ban that has been on since 1952 was only directing more citizens to underground and illegal betting.
So in 2015, As a result of the RGA, the government started to block online bookies, or the other institutions and outfits involved in the online betting system had to halt activities.
Unfortunately, citizens still found a way of working around that. They found a technical way of bypassing DNS/IP blocks. There are also mirror sites that give Singaporeans access indirectly.
Furthermore, at the other end of this discussion are the online venues and platforms. A lot of them still make their services available to countries with strict bans. The rationale is that anything online is accessible to everyone. In other climbs, these software providers and online casinos make deals with the government.
Another scenario is the age restriction. In Singapore, you have to be 21+, but these online casinos set it at 18+. The government was quick to realize that the best outcome is allowing punters to play their bets locally but with more regulations.
The future of online betting in Singapore
Aside from accessing the online sites, another major problem was the transaction. The financial institutions and associations had direct instructions from the government not to be part of any form of the online betting process. However, the prevalence of cryptocurrencies readily took care of that stumbling block for punters.
The government has also taken some actions like stopping ICOs and advising against digital tokens. There are many reasons why banning cryptocurrencies to put a leash on betting would be a bad idea. Also, a lot of Singaporeans make use of E-wallets.
There are also talks of having a new gaming authority (GRA) later on.