ONLINE BETTING EXEMPTIONS IN SINGAPORE
Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club are preparing to launch online betting services.
According to reports in The Straits Times. Singapore online punters will soon – perhaps by the end of next month – be able to legally make bets on Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club online sites currently in preparation in anticipation of getting the green light from the authorities.
A spokesman for the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs approached by the newspaper would say only that the authorities are evaluating applications from Singapore Pools and STC, despite widespread reports that both organisations are currently running final tests on internet betting platforms and have prepared advisories for staff and customers.
Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club are relying on an exemption from the Remote Gambling Act, according to insider reports that claim regulations are still being finalised, but that all lotteries and games except for Big Sweep will be available online, albeit with restrictions on betting amounts and permutations.
There have been some reports that live betting will be permitted as part of the exemptions specific to the two companies.
Singapore Pools offers betting on football and motor-racing as well as 4-D and Toto, while STC takes bets on horse races.
The exemptions come two years after Singapore lawmakers passed the Remote Gambling Act, which outlaws online and mobile gambling on pain of heavy penalties. The government has been active in enforcing the ban, ISP-blocking hundreds of online gambling websites.
However, the Act does have provision for exemptions for not-for-profit enterprises which contribute to public, social and charitable causes in Singapore.
Both STC and Singapore Pools meet these criteria. They are not-for-profit organisations operated by the Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board), a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance, and both organisations channel funds through the Tote Board to charitable and social causes.