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Betting in Singapore

Published on: 07/02/2016

Singapore became an independent country in 1965, having separated from Malaysia. Gambling activity in the “Garden City” had been an intrinsic part of local life for many years prior to independence. This was mainly because the British colonialists had brought with them the notion of lotteries, horse racing, rugby, football and cricket.

For many years, Singapore’s government has had a conflicting attitude towards gambling. The Betting Act (1960) was created to prevent unlawful betting venues appearing, either privately or within the public domain. Shortly after, the Common Gaming Houses Act was initiated to limit illegal public games and lottery activity, as well as unlawful gaming houses.

In 1968, the state monopoly was created and named the Singapore Pools. It was an asset to the local gambling enthusiasts because it made some betting games available including Lotto and sweepstakes. Then at the turn of the millennium, gambling on football was authorized -however, it wasn’t until 2008, that wagering on the Formula One motor racing became legal.

Created in 1842, the Singapore Sporting Club arranged thoroughbred horse racing at Kranji - a 2,000 metre sand-based race track. The Club was later permitted to offer pari-mutuel betting under the jurisdiction of the Tote Board.

The Changi International Airport facilitated one casino for the enjoyment of passing travellers. The casino operated for twenty years, but in 2006, the government of Singapore authorised the Casino Control Act which gave the go ahead for licensed casinos to provide business for the tourists.

Currently, Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority manages two major casinos which are situated within the country’s boundaries - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World on Sentosa Island. The local citizens are permitted to wager at either of the two casinos, however regulations remain in place. The two casinos generate large revenues with an estimated $6 billion per annum. Currently private sportsbooks are non-existent in Singapore. The Singapore Pools accept bets on the nation’s top football league games, as well as Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian and English Premier League Football. Motor sport wagering is also permitted, as is horse racing, and bets are made via the internet or telephone.

Today, Singapore gambling laws allow licensed betting operations as well as online sportsbooks and mobile applications. As a result, over 450 sports gambling web sites are available for the citizens of Singapore to enjoy sports gambling. Well over 2,000 gaming web sites are available to citizens of Singapore in the English language. Withdrawal and deposit methods include Visa, MasterCard, Moneybookers and NETeller.

Singapore’s current population stands at approximately four million. The government is not too worried about losing money to off-shore bookmakers, its primary objective is to obtain foreign trade, and ideas are being proposed to start providing further internet gambling services to attract business from other nations.