Singapore's sole authorised gambling companies, the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club, could be missing out on good revenues by not offering online betting facilities to local residents, it appears from new research statistics.
The Singapore publication AsiaOne reports that placing bets with operators not exempted from the Betting Act and the Common Gaming Houses Act is an offence, but that online gambling is on the rise anyway.
The publication quotes a recent survey by the Ministry for Community Development Youth and Sports, which shows that the participation rate for online gambling has risen tenfold over the past three years – 1 percent of 2 300 respondents said they gambled online, up from just 0.1per cent in 2005.
Popular sites include well known international betting groups like Betfair.com, which offer sports betting, casino games and poker via the Internet.
Going online to gamble is popular with the young and tech-savvy, counsellors from the Institute of Mental Health's Community Addictions Management Programme told AsiaOne. A 21 year old online gambler confirmed this when she told the publication that she places her sporting bets online because it is so convenient. She said: ‘You can do it anywhere, at any time…You don't have to keep calling a bookie.'