Singapore moves to Abolish Online Gambling
Singapore has quickly become a force in the land-based casino market, generating around $6 billion annually. But what many people may not realize is that the Asian city state also generates a sizable amount of online gambling revenue too. Last year, Singaporeans spent $375 million through online gambling. So it goes without saying that internet gaming sites draw a fair amount of revenue from this Southeast Asian gambling hub.
But politicians in Singapore are currently thinking about banning online gambling sites. The proposed move would be similar to the UIGEA or Black Friday incident in the United States, both of which hampered the online poker industry.
It’s unclear if Singapore’s government would actually pursue legal action against gaming sites, like the US did during Black Friday. But one that’s for sure is how certain politicians see gaming as a threat to Singapore’s 5.3 million residents.
Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mr S. Iswaran, is one government official who hasn’t hid his disdain for internet gambling. He recently explained how online gaming could be used for illegal purposes such as money laundering. The politician also added that gambling is very addicting, especially when people can do it directly from home or through a mobile device.
Singapore’s government hasn’t taken a definitive position on banning online gambling, which is good for the industry. However, it’s certainly not good that they’re currently debating the negative effects of internet gaming. But if they do decide to get rid of online gambling, it would definitely have negative effects on certain people – especially poker pros within the territory. Poker pro Brian Huang commented on the matter by saying the following
I sincerely hope the game we love, live on, play seriously as a hobby does not get mixed up with the shady activities/online casinos targeted by the new laws. Unfortunately if it does we might have our version of Black Friday in Singapore.