Singapore Confirms 2021 Establishment of New Gambling Regulator

Singapore Confirms 2021 Establishment of New Gambling Regulator

Singapore’s planned new gambling regulator remains on track to be established in 2021, a spokesperson of the city-state’s Ministry of Home Affairs said this week in an emailed response to a query from casino news outlet GGRAsia.

It was this past April when the Ministry of Home Affairs first announced plans to introduce a new, centralized regulatory body that would oversee Singapore’s entire gambling industry.

The new regulator will be called the Gambling Regulatory Authority and will basically be reconstituted from the current Casino Regulatory Authority, which oversees Singapore’s land-based casino industry.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs told GGRAsia that despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore authorities have moved forward with plans to establish the new regulator that will be tasked with “regulating the entire gambling landscape in Singapore.”

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City-state officials are also on track to complete a review of local gambling laws and regulations and revamp them by 2021. This has been found necessary so that Singapore’s regulatory mechanisms can properly address “evolving gambling products and business models.”

At present, different agencies oversee the different gambling products offered on the territory of the city-state and these products are regulated under different laws and rules. Under local gambling regulations, Singapore’s two land-based casinos as well as Singapore Pools’ 4D and Toto products and horse race betting offering are the only legal gambling options in the city-state.

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Singapore authorities have said of their plans to introduce a centralized gambling regulator that the move would help the city-state to stay “abreast of technological and global trends” and “respond faster to emerging products in particular those that cut across different domains.” The new regulatory body will also be expected to help Singapore “take a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.”

The current Casino Regulatory Authority oversees Singapore’s two casino resorts – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, while the Gambling Regulatory Unit of the Ministry of Home Affairs regulates Singapore Pools’ activity.

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After staying closed for several months to help curb the advance of the coronavirus, the two casinos were allowed to partially resume operations on July 1.

Last year, Singapore authorities announced that they had agreed to extend the two gambling venues’ exclusivity over casino gaming until 2030. In exchange, their owners agreed to each invest S$4.5 billion into expanding the two properties.

Marina Bay Sands is owned and operated by a unit of casino giant Las Vegas Sands, while Resorts World Sentosa is run by a subsidiary of Malaysian gaming and hospitality powerhouse Genting Group.

In August, the Chief Executive of Singapore’s Tourism Board, Keith Tan, said that delays in the expansion of the two casino resorts were inevitable due to slowdown in construction activity in Singapore in the face of the unprecedented health crisis.

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