Singapore’s casinos are now under the control of a new gambling regulator with two key acts taking effect from today, Monday 1 August 2022.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Act sees the former Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) replaced by a new Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), tasked with regulating the entire gambling landscape in Singapore, including oversight of the city’s casinos at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
In a Sunday statement, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said the establishment of the GRA “allows the Government to more effectively stay ahead of technological and gambling trends, respond more adequately to emerging gambling products, and take a more holistic and coherent approach to gambling policies.”
It will work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the National Council on Problem Gambling to “protect Singaporeans from the harms of gambling”, while the Singapore Police Force will continue to enforce against illegal gambling activities.
Meanwhile, the Gambling Control Act consolidates Singapore’s gambling laws under a single act, adopting a “risk-calibrated approach” to gambling regulation. The GC Act allows the GRA to issue gambling operator licences for gambling services such as betting and lottery, gaming machine rooms and gambling in private establishments – ensuring licensees are “fit and proper” to offer gambling services while holding them accountable for the conduct of gambling.
It also allows social gambling among family and friends at home.
According to details published by the MHA on Sunday, the GC Act applies a three-tier penalty structure for unlawful gambling offences which differentiates between punters, agents and operators. The highest penalties will be imposed on operators, as their culpability is highest, followed by agents and then punters, the MHA said.
The act also criminalizes proxy betting in casinos and gaming machine rooms.