Singapore Pools sees big rise in online betting

Singapore Pools Sweep Game
Singapore Pools Sweep Game

Singapore Pools, the only body in the island state permitted to offer online gambling, now gets about 60 percent of its revenue through remote channels, compared with 30 percent just three years ago, a senior government official said.

Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, was speaking at the 5th Singapore Symposium on Gambling Regulation and Crime. She said she expects the trend towards online gambling at Singapore Pools, which offers lottery and sports betting, to continue. 

Teo told the conference that the Asia Pacific online gambling market is likely to expand at double-digit rates up to the middle of the next decade, with its market size to grow almost threefold. This growth will pose major challenges for regulators, she said. 

Another key challenge for regulators will be the rise of new “novel” gambling products, including elements such as loot boxes. 

“Regulators around the world will need to figure out how to regulate these new products. Some have morphed to resemble computer gaming products, and appear to be skills-based –the line is quite a blur,” she said. 

“Such new products across various modes of gambling or gaming will certainly require us to put on our thinking hats, and probably take a look at the new laws that we need to put in place to regulate,” she said. 

Singapore has one of the most draconian bans on online gambling and has imposed stiff jail sentences and criminal penalties for infractions.