Singapore Mulls Limiting Casino Access

Posted: May 29, 2013

Updated: October 4, 2017

Authorities may customize restrictions to individual casino visitors.

Singapore offers wonderful gambling entertainment opportunities. For tourists, that is.

Singaporean gambling laws have restricted local players from accessing the city-state’s casinos, through the use of entrance fees and time limits, since the very first days of gambling legalization.

It looks like the government is set on tightening the rules even further, by tailoring the restrictions to each player’s “unique circumstances”, in order to curb problem gambling.

While this may sound good at first (or does it?), it is unclear what information would serve as a basis for determining those circumstances (Earnings? Family size? Criminal records?) and just how fair and reliable such an assessment would be.

In fact, even problem gambling associations claim that this move would drive those at risk to visit illegal venues, thus making the issue more difficult to handle. Players whose access to casinos becomes restricted may seek to play at online casinos in Singapore, which are currently also illegal in the country.

“The greatest threat to problem gamblers now is online gambling, which is easily available – especially with today’s smart devices – and still unregulated,” said one expert in reference to mobile casino gambling.

Current rules allow self-imposed bans, but apparently this does not satisfy the authorities. The Singaporean government believes the planned changes will affect somewhere between 4,000 to 6,000 players.

The matter has not been closed yet. The Ministry of Home Affairs still seeks to consult with experts to work out the best solution to this perceived problem.

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