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Singapore Fines for Problem Gambling at Two Casino Resorts

Singapore Fines for Problem Gambling at Two Casino Resorts

January 2, 2013 · Filed Under Online Gambling Laws 

The Casino Gaming Act of Singapore was created to make provisions for the operation and regulation of casinos and gaming in casinos and to establish the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore.

Recently, two of the city-states largest resorts faced fines for violation of social safeguards that required citizens to pay daily and annual entry levies who find it difficult or impossible of having self restraint with casino gambling.

Both Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa and Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands where charge with fines totaling S500k (US$400k) for their failure to observe social safeguard requirements.

Singapore plans to be carried out by the middle of next year will impose limits on the number of times per month that citizens who willingly acknowledge or are judged to have a gambling problem may visit the city-state’s two integrated resorts.

The limits take three forms:

a. First the individual can apply to the National Council on Problem Gambling for voluntary self-imposed limits.

b. Family members can apply for family visit limits;

c. or the NCPG will have the power to appoint a Committee of Assessors to determine whether a third-party visit limit should be imposed on a person. Individuals will have the right to be heard and the right of appeal.

“Though the casino is a small component of the entire IR development, we recognize the impact it can have on law and order and problem gambling,” said Second Minister for Home Affairs, Trade and Industry S Iswaran. “The government is determined to keep Singapore safe and secure, and to ensure that our society’s strong work ethics and values are not compromised.”

Social safeguards for non-casino gambling, including remote gambling, are also being studied.

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Singapore, Online Gambling Rising, Measures Of Prevention Needed

March 4, 2012 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

Singapore is in need of clamping down on the problem of online gambling addiction and are desperate to get a hold on banning online players by cutting off revenue and blocking gambling sites in order to curb the rise of gambling addiction amongst it’s citizens.

Online gambling is rising faster than imagined with punters placing bets on their smartphones while on the go, on their computers at home or even at work.

According to Asia News Network, last year, such online gambling sites raked in US$357.2mil (RM1.07bil) from punters here. The year before, the figure was US$312.49mil (RM941.84mil), and in 2009, it was US$271.58mil (RM818.54mil).

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Chan Chun Sing tagged online gambling as “an emerging concern”.

The gambling survey, which polled 3,315 Singapore residents aged 18 and up, identified online gamblers as faring the worst among all gamblers in exercising self-control.

Ms Anne Chui, who is a counsellor at National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), Institute of Mental Health (IMH) said, “What can be done is the gambler himself can install a software in the computer that actually blocks out gambling site. I do see some of my patients doing that.”

An MCYS spokesman said the fact that online gambling allowed for continuous play and was accessible round the clock made it “a potentially highly addictive form of gambling”.

MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC Zaqy Mohamad said, “To a certain sense, it will be difficult to police. It’s something we probably have to study in greater detail. It’s the same issue we have with pornography. It’s difficult to monitor every single screen that goes on. Between online gaming and online gambling, there’s sometimes a fine line. If you play a casino online game for example, BlackJack, is that gambling? When do you consider it gambling – when you transact money or when it is just credits?”

Ms Lim Hui Khim, who is the Centre Head at the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centres, said: “The families are the main motivators to encourage the gamblers to come out and seek help. Of course, families will not go to IMH or NAMS for treatment. Normally, they reach out to a family service centre that’s near their area.

“If FSCs are able to be trained to manage families that are affected by debt problem and money management issues, we can actually support them on how to protect their own assets, manage their income and money so that they don’t have to always bail out the gamblers.”

Ms Lim said there are plans with the National Council on Problem Gambling to train counselors to support families dealing with gambling addiction.

Reported by Maggie B.

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Singapore – Should Government License/Regulate Online Gambling?

December 9, 2011 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

Asia Pacific will be the fastest-growing region for casino gaming spending over the coming five years according to the latest release of PwC’s (PricewaterhouseCoopers) global gaming outlook.

Gaming revenue in Asia-Pacific, the PwC report projected, will grow from US$34.3 billion (S$43.96 billion) last year to US$79.3 billion in 2015. It also estimated that revenues from the two integrated resorts here will jump from US$4.4 billion this year to US$7.2 billion in 2015.

“There is a strong argument that, since consumers will engage in illegal online gaming anyway, it is better to license and tax it than to allow the revenues to go to unlicensed operators.”

Despite the fact, online gambling is outlawed in Singapore, Casino gaming revenues in Asia Pacific surged by a remarkable 49.7 percent in 2010, boosted by a 57.8 percent increase in Macau and the rapid emergence of casino gaming in Singapore.

Gaming analyst Jonathan Galaviz felt that governments in the region should certainly seize the growth opportunities, noting that there is “tremendous growth in online gaming, especially in poker”.

Galaviz is also quoted here as saying, “It’s probably an appropriate time for governments to, at the minimum, seriously research the issue and get up to speed on the topic for thoughtful policy discussions,” said the chief economist of Galaviz & Co, a consulting firm for casinos.

But other analysts are not sharing the same opinion as Galaviz & Co. In fact, stating, “legalising online gambling will likely cause a significant social impact.” Casino Consultant and senior partner at Platform Asia Management Services, Mr. Felix Ling, stated, “Once you allow online gambling, you are indirectly encouraging more people to flock there.

Agreeing with Mr. Ling’s statements is one Dr Derek da Cunha. Dr. da Cuhna is author of Singapore Places its Bets, a book on the social and economic impact of the entry of casinos into Singapore. Saying for the record, “If the Government were to legalise online gaming, it would simply give respectability to this activity. A consequence of that would be to draw new or novice players who would not otherwise engage in online gaming.” He added that the social consequences would be “incalculable, especially when people who are supposed to be at work, use their computers or handheld mobile devices to start punting”.

But there is also the argument that could be posed that if it would be a social consequence then why is it that in Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa and the Marina Bay Sands that opened in
2010, within a full year’s operation, both of the new resorts in Singapore, revenues are expected to reach $4.4 billion in 2011 and grow to $7.2 billion by 2015. Are we to believe that online gambling is the bigger evil than the casinos already generating greater revenue for Singapore, a major destination in Asia?

Reported by Maggie B.

 

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