Regulators around the world need to figure out how to regulate novel gambling products such as loot boxes in video games that are designed to appeal to younger audiences.
Speaking at the 5th Singapore Symposium on Gambling Regulation and Crime, Mrs Teo noted how gambling preferences have changed, with the younger generation less interested in traditional gambling products such as jackpot machines and horse-racing.
To attract this demographic, companies have developed novel gambling such as loot boxes, which are virtual mystery boxes gamers buy in the hope of gaining powerful weapons or skins to enhance the game experience.
Others have reinvented traditional gambling products and added skills-based elements in an effort to have them resemble computer gaming products, the minister said, citing slot machines with joysticks or other features that allow users to make choices during the game.
During her speech, Mrs Teo also spoke about the challenges regulators face because of online technology.
“Everyone now has a smartphone with mobile broadband access. From their smartphones, punters can access gambling products anywhere, anytime,” she said.
Citing figures from PwC, Mrs Teo noted how global remote gambling revenue has grown 10 per cent annually from 2009 to 2016, almost doubling the revenue to US$39 billion.
In Singapore, online gambling has also risen, said Mrs Teo.
About 60 per cent of Singapore Pools’ sports betting turnover is now done through remote channels – double that of the 30 per cent seen three years ago, she noted, adding this trend is expected to continue.