S'pore studying measures to curb online gambling

The government is working with industry experts to study the issues of online gambling, and learning from other jurisdictions in order to formulate a strategy to restrict it.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on

Singapore is studying measures to restrict access to online gambling Web sites.

Local broadsheet Today reported Friday that S Iswaran, the second minister of home affairs, said the government is studying the related issues. It is also learning from other jurisdiction in order to formulate a strategy which will be "effective, relevant and sustainable", he said.

The study is expected to be concluded by the end of the year, the report added.

Calling online gambling a "complex and rapidly evolving" landscape, Iswaran acknowledged it will be difficult to completely eradicate it due to technological changes, but the government "remains resolute in [its] commitment to protect minors and vulnerable groups in [its] society".

The minister also noted the global online gambling industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9 percent, while Asia is listed as a "significant growth opportunity" in this area, estimated at US$400 billion (S$493 billion) in 2011.

Richard Magnus, chairman of the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA), agreed, pointing out social games on platforms such as Facebook and online football gambling are becoming more common in the country.

Field workers previously told ZDNet Asia that with more households owning computers and the Internet becoming increasingly pervasive in Singapore, the likelihood of a bigger proportion of the population hooked on online activities such as online gambling, is now higher.

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