SINGAPORE – Online gambling, which is changing very rapidly due to rapid technological developments, is one of the areas of the gambling landscape that the new Gaming Regulatory Authority (GRA) will pay attention to.
The authority will further be empowered under the Gambling Control Act, which came into force this month, to regulate online gambling platforms and take action against advertisements promoting services illegal.
Speaking to reporters at the inauguration event at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Center on Tuesday August 16, Mr. Ian Lee, GRA Senior Deputy Director (Policy and Planning), said the authority would be able to take further action against those who advertise illegal gambling if they do not comply with an order to remove it.
Under the Gambling Control Act, a person convicted of advertising illegal gambling can be fined up to $20,000.
But if they don’t comply with an ad suppression order, they can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to two years, or both. .
Even so, it will be difficult to remove such websites, Lee said.
“Overseas-based operators can still easily offer their products in Singapore… We recognize that it is not possible to enforce the legislation when they are based overseas, but we can still (act ) via the blocking channel.”
The GRA also has the power to block access to online remote gambling services by ordering the Infocomm Media Development Authority to issue such an order to internet service providers.
“Even if we take down a website, they can easily use another domain. It’s a cat and mouse matter. But we continue to focus on taking down the websites that cause the most harm to users in Singapore “said Mr. Lee.