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Singapore's Internet Gambling Ban Begins TodayPublished February 2, 2015 by Elana K
Singapore's Remote Gambling Act will go into effect on Monday, February 2, 2015. The Act prohibits all online poker and casino games.
Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced that its new bill, which will ban most forms of online gambling, will go into effect today. The bill, entitled the Remote Gambling Act, was approved by Singapore’s parliament on October 7, 2014, and will officially be enforced on February 2, 2015. Singapore’s government did not waste much time in setting the new standards of the sovereign city-state.
Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs released a statement saying the following: “The objectives of regulating remote gambling are to maintain law and order and to minimize the potential harm of remote gambling, especially to young persons and other vulnerable persons.”
The Remote Gambling Act
The bill first got off the ground in November 2014, when Singapore officials realized that the lack of regulation of online gambling was leading to illegal operations, which put the public in harm’s way.
And so, the Remote Gambling Act was drafted. The bill will ban all online casino and poker games, and only provides for limited types of online sports betting from non-profit operators based in Singapore.
The bill does not cover social games, the Media Development Authority made sure to specify. "The Act will not impede the development of legitimate social media gaming businesses and (we) will continue working with the gaming industry to ensure its continued growth and development.”
MDA also clarified that the Act will not ban leaderboards or tournaments in which players can win prizes or money; the Act only takes on “casino-style” games. Practically, this means that popular games Farmville and Candy Crush Saga will not be affected.
The passing of the bill also means that all websites that provide or even advertise remote gambling will be blocked in Singapore, as will the methods of payment.