Wednesday February 25,2014 : SINGAPORE WARNED ON DISCRIMINATORY APPROACH TO ONLINE GAMBLING REGULATION
Major betting operators could launch legal actions if a monopolistic policy is followed.
Gambling law expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay in Singapore warned the Singapore government this week that it could be opening itself up to potential legal challenges by major online gambling operators if it took a discriminatory course in banning remote gambling.
The legal information site Out-law.com, reporting on Tan's opinion, said that it would be wrong for the Ministry of Home Affairs to prohibit remote gambling within Singapore on the basis of the size of betting operator – a course recommended last week by a European gambling consultant.
The Singapore government outlined its intention to place heavy restrictions on remote gambling – but with some exemptions – in the country late last year and launched a consultation seeking views on how to frame the new rules last December.
Tan said that the government would be ill-advised to take the road suggested by Christian Kalb of CK Consulting in Europe:
"Discriminatory action or law enforcement could result in legal challenges being made," Tan said.
Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs is on record as saying that it is to study gambling restrictions introduced in Hong Kong, among other countries, to gauge how to allow for "a limited form of remote gambling through a strictly regulated authorised entity" within Singapore.
"We will study carefully in detail whether to provide an exemption in Singapore and if so, the nature of provisions for a tightly controlled exemption regime, with constraints on the type of operator and the imposition of stringent social safeguards," the Ministry said. "We will study the experiences of other jurisdictions in this regard."