Later this year, Singapore will establish a new gambling regulator known as the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA). The change will take place thanks to two new bills that were introduced for reading in Parliament this week. The bills are part of a gambling regulation change in Singapore that consolidates the current regulatory bodies into one entity.
Gambling Regulatory Authority
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced the plans this week, with the new group set to be created by the middle of 2022. Right now, Singapore operates with the Casino Regulatory Authority, the Gambling Regulatory Unit, the Singapore Totalisator Board, and the Singapore Police Force all playing a role in overseeing the industry.
These groups will now be consolidated into one entity to better serve the gambling operations in the state. The MHA said that the regulator process needs to consolidate for the industry to stay ahead of tech and global trends and respond properly to emerging gambling products. The new group will be able to take a holistic and coherent approach to both policies and issues connected to gambling.
The new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill will create the new regulatory body, with the group focusing on all forms of gambling. The goal is to have the GRA up and running by the middle of the year.
Gambling Control Bill
Also on the table is the Gambling Control Bill. This measure updates current gambling laws and regulations to ensure the industry can maintain as the gambling landscape changes. The bill focuses on unlawful gambling as well as regulating non-casino gambling operations.
When this measure becomes law, it will repeal four laws of Singapore, the Common Gaming Houses Act, the Remote Gambling Act, the Private Lotteries Act, and the Betting Act. Key changes under the bill include the definition of gambling. It will be changed to cover existing products as well as new options. The definition will not cover items that the ministry does not want to ever treat as a gambling product, such as financial products for investing.
The Gambling Control Bill will also include an exemption for friends and family to enjoy social gambling and create licensing for additional products like fruit machines and products created by Singapore Pools.
On top of that, the Ministry will be considering a new Casino Control Bill, which is another amendment. The bill will be set aside for a later date. This measure focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of the GRA when it comes to regulating casinos and ensuring that casino regulations remain relevant.