Until 2010, the Singaporean gambling laws didn’t allow for casinos. Then, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands were opened.
In order to prevent low income gamblers to access these premises, a $100 entry fee was imposed. Now, the government is bringing new restrictions. One bans, as of July 1st, over 10,000 residents, who get state welfare, from entering the casinos. Another one, effective August 1st, bans those who live in government apartments and haven’t paid rent for six months or more.
Prior to these restrictions, nearly 30,000 people were already banned from Singaporean casinos. This comes on top of 70,000 who have put themselves on the ban list in order to avoid excessive gambling.
The land-based casino bans are one thing. The other issue relates to playing at online casinos in Singapore. Since Singapore doesn’t regulate online gambling, the sites offering access to web-based casinos are located offshore.
Keeping banned people from accessing these sites is difficult to do, although it can be technologically monitored up to the point. The whole thing gets even more complicated when it comes to social gambling on sites such as Zynga or Facebook (soon to offer for-money gambling) or when mobile casino gambling is pursued.
What Singapore is doing will only partially offset the problems related to low income people gambling as serious bettors will find ways to wager anyway. Even at underground gambling dens.