Singapore’s plan to establish by 2021 a new body known as the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) to oversee in the city-state all such business including casino resorts, has been described by several knowledgeable commentators as a logical step.
“With changes in the gambling landscape, it is timely that Singapore government is reviewing the national gambling regulatory framework and gambling laws to enhance their effectiveness,” said Tan Kian Hoon, chairman of the National Council On Problem Gambling.
Currently, on the oversight side, the existing Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) deals with the two land-based casinos, Marina Bay Sands, operated by Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd, a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp; and Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd, a unit of Genting Singapore Ltd. The Gambling Regulatory Unit of the Ministry of Home Affairs regulates remote gambling for lotteries and sports betting.
That ministry has indicated that the function of regulating remote gambling will be transferred to the new body the GRA.
The Singapore authorities have said the move to consolidate regulatory functions under the GRA would ensure Singapore was “abreast of technological and global trends,” and could “respond faster to emerging products in particular those that cut across different domains, and take a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs has stated the GRA would – like the current CRA – work with partners such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the National Council On Problem Gambling, while the Singapore Police Force would continue to enforce the laws against illegal gambling activities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has said the views of stakeholders such as authorised gambling operators, religious organisations, social service agencies, and members of the public would be considered prior to the establishment of the GRA.
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