Slot club numbers fall amidst tougher rules

The number of clubs offering slot machines in Singapore has fallen after the government introduced stricter rules in an effort to curb problem gambling, local media reports.

There are now 42 clubs compared with 61 last October, according to figures released by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Last year, the government revised criteria for jackpot machine permits, reducing their availability and accessibility and implementing stronger social safeguards. Seven clubs chose not to reapply when their licenses expired, the reports said. It wasn’t clear why the others closed.

The changes are being brought in progressively over two years.

Measures introduced last November included a requirement for jackpot machine users to be over 21 and a club member for at least a year. They are not allowed to bring guests and there are also restrictions on opening hours and advertising. ATMS, credit card facilities and electronic fund transfer systems are also banned.