Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby littlehorsebro » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:17 am

how they gona stop financial institutions from processing online gambling transactions . we go through skrill right ??? let pray that they don't actually find a way to stop financial transaction ba . Cause Pokerstar are well known to bo chup regulation. they ignore US ban on online gaming until black Friday ...... when US freeze all financial transaction to poker star
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3rd Singapore Symposium on Casino Regulation and Crime

Postby DM101 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:27 am

Here is the post from Iswaran's FB.

MHA will launch a consultation via REACH tomorrow to get public feedback on measures to restrict remote gambling. Remote gambling refers to the use of remote communication platforms such as the Internet or mobile devices, to facilitate gambling. The design of these remote gambling games such as poker, and its easily accessible nature through Internet and mobile applications, encourages repetitive play, which may translate into problem gambling. Some analysts estimate that the size of the remote gambling market in Singapore could be over US$300million a year, and is expected to grow by 6% to 7% annually. Government agencies such as MHA and MSF, have been studying this for some time and have learnt much from other jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Norway who have some form of restrictive measures in place.

We will introduce measures such as blocking of gambling websites, payments to such operators and prohibiting advertisements. These measures are not necessarily foolproof but taken together, they will create a more comprehensive and restrictive regime in Singapore towards remote gambling. It is important that a strong signal be sent on remote gambling, given the concerns over the risk of criminal infiltration and its possible impact on youth and the vulnerable in society. Clearly, we want to restrict remote gambling and I encourage all of you to participate in the consultation and offer your views.


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His speech:


The 3rd Singapore Symposium on Casino Regulation and Crime at The Police Cantonment Complex Auditorium - Speech by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry

Chairman CRA, Board Members,

Distinguished Guests,

CRA and SPF Officers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction

Good morning,

I am pleased to join you at the 3rd Singapore Symposium on Casino Regulation and Crime. Held biennially, this symposium has been an important platform for the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) to forge closer ties and exchange ideas with their local and overseas partners in casino regulation and law enforcement. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all participants, especially our foreign guests who have made a special effort to join us at this symposium.

Casino Industry in Asia

2. The casino industry is set to grow rapidly in the Asia Pacific region in the next few years. According to the Global Gaming Outlook report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the projected gaming revenue from the Asia Pacific region could reach US$80b, and account for 43% of global revenue, by 2015.

3. This growth is fuelled by more Asia-Pacific economies planning to develop casinos. This trend is also reflected in the growing Asian presence at this symposium. This year, we are joined by our regulatory and law enforcement partners from many regional countries - Macau, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Brunei, China and the Philippines.

Casino Regulation for Effective Crime Control

4. These developments in the casino industry and gaming activities can also lead to greater exposure to the risk of transnational crimes. Keeping our casinos free from criminal influence will continue to be a key challenge for Singapore, as well as law enforcement agencies and regulators from other jurisdictions.

5. Since the opening of the casinos three years ago, crimes in the casinos have accounted for less than 1% of overall crime in Singapore. This has been possible through a close partnership between the Police and CRA, and a strict enforcement regime.

6. But the situation is dynamic and criminal syndicates are constantly evolving their modus operandi. Hence, we need constant vigilance, to ensure a regulatory regime that is relevant and effective. Singapore amended its Casino Control Act last year to strengthen our levers to tackle casino-related crimes. Specific offences such as cheating at play, collusion and the possession of unlawful devices to counterfeit chips, were created to comprehensively deal with the range of casino crimes.

Global Alliances Crucial to Fight Casino Crime

7. With globalisation, criminal activities are increasingly transnational in nature. It is therefore important for law enforcement agencies and regulators to collaborate closely across borders, and share best practices and information, in order to fight all crime including casino crime. This symposium is a valuable opportunity to network and learn from each other.

8. In addition, there are platforms like the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) and the North America Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA), which allow for collaboration among regulators. We need a similar forum for Asian regulators.

9. Although a relative newcomer, Singapore’s CRA can play an important role in bringing together Asian regulators, and facilitating substantive engagement with their European and American counterparts. The recent appointment of CRA’s Chief Executive, Mr Lau Peet Meng, as the President of IAGR is an opportunity for Asian regulators to benefit from the wealth of expertise within this global network, and to stay abreast of new and evolving trends in the gaming industry.

Significant Growth in Remote Gambling

10. Remote gambling is one such evolving trend. The revenue of the global remote gambling industry in 2012 was estimated at US$35b, with an expected annual growth rate of about 9%. This is about five times the expected growth for conventional terrestrial gambling.

Regulatory Approaches Vary Across Jurisdictions

11. Consequently, many countries have been reviewing their regulatory regimes to keep pace with this rapidly evolving industry. Internationally, there is a wide spectrum of regulatory approaches. Some countries have an open remote gambling market with many licensed operators offering a wide array of gambling products. In France, there are 20 remote gambling operators offering products such as poker, sports betting and horse racing. There are even more remote gambling operators in the UK, with a wider variety of gambling products including casino-type games.

12. Other countries have a more restricted remote gambling market. Typically, they have allowed one or two operators to offer a small number of products, subject to certain requirements including social safeguards. In Norway, remote gambling is offered by two state-owned operators which channel surpluses to social causes such as charities, sports and culture. In Hong Kong, the Jockey Club (HKJC) is the only licensee that offers horse racing, Mark 6 Lottery and football betting through both terrestrial and remote gambling platforms. HKJC is a not-for-profit organisation which uses its surplus revenue to support charitable and community projects as well as social welfare initiatives.

13. Many jurisdictions have also implemented various measures to prevent unauthorised operators from targeting their citizens. France, Italy and Denmark have measures to block access to unauthorised gambling websites. In the UK, it is an offence for unlicensed gambling operators to target its residents or advertise through online and terrestrial channels. Norway and the United States require financial intermediaries to block payment transactions with unauthorised gambling operators.

Government to Restrict Remote Gambling

14. In Singapore, we have strict laws on gambling to maintain law and order and to minimise the potential harm, especially to the young and vulnerable. Under our laws, the provision of gambling is not permitted unless specifically allowed for, by way of an exemption or license. However, our current laws do not expressly address remote gambling as they were enacted before the Internet era.

15. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and other government agencies have been studying the issue of remote gambling.

16. In NCPG’s 2011 gambling participation survey of the general population, 1% of respondents indicated that they gambled online. While this may seem low, we must be cognizant of the growing popularity of remote gambling and the associated risks. Indeed, some analysts estimate that the size of the remote gambling market in Singapore could be over US$300m, and it is expected to grow by 6-7% annually.

17. Remote gambling gives us cause for concern for several reasons. First, it is ubiquitously and easily accessible through the Internet and mobile applications, especially by a younger and more tech-savvy generation. In a recent online survey of around 1,000 Internet users commissioned by MHA, we found that almost 3 in 10 respondents had gambled remotely at least once in the past year. This is not surprising as one can gamble anonymously from almost any location at any time.

18. Second, the nature and design of the games, especially poker and casino-type games, lend themselves to repetitive play and addictive behaviour. This is well documented in both local and overseas research. The 2011 survey by the National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) found that online gamblers had poorer self-control, were more likely to gamble at a higher frequency, for a longer duration, and with more money than they had initially planned.

19. Thirdly, from a law and order perspective, remote gambling operations can potentially become a source or conduit of funds for other illegal activities and syndicated crime. These operators are beyond our jurisdiction and they operate without restrictions or limitations on the types of games they can offer or the promotions and advertising they undertake. It is therefore important that we take proactive steps to address these concerns.

20. Hence, as an extension of our current laws, the government intends to restrict remote gambling by making it illegal unless there are specific exemptions. We will introduce new laws to give our enforcement agencies the powers to act against facilitators, intermediaries and providers of remote gambling services. We will introduce measures to block access to gambling websites, block payments to remote gambling operators, and prohibit advertisements promoting remote gambling. While such measures may not be foolproof, they will impede access to remote gambling platforms and send a clear signal of the regulatory stance in Singapore.

21. To divert gambling away from unauthorised and unregulated operators, some jurisdictions like Hong Kong have allowed a limited form of remote gambling through a strictly regulated authorised entity. Our agencies will carefully consider provisions for a similar tightly controlled exemption in Singapore, with constraints on the type of operator and stringent social safeguards. We will launch a public consultation exercise through REACH and seek the views of various stakeholders, as we formulate the regulatory framework to restrict remote gambling.

Strengthening Public Education

22. Apart from remote gambling products, games that simulate gambling are rising in popularity on social media platforms. The distinction between social gaming and online gambling is blurring, with some games on social media platforms closely modelled on casino-style games. These seemingly harmless games can desensitise youths to the dangers and ills of gambling.

23. To address this, we will strengthen public education efforts with regard to remote gambling and gambling simulation games. The National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) will broaden and intensify public education efforts to raise awareness of the risks involved. At the same time, MSF will work with NCPG and other agencies such as educational institutions, voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), cyber-wellness groups and parent groups to implement public education and outreach initiatives.

Conclusion

24. These trends in remote gambling illustrate the dynamic nature of the gaming industry, which will continue to evolve and present new challenges for regulators and law enforcers.

25. Even as each of our countries continue to grow capabilities and expertise, international collaboration among regulators and enforcement agencies will be crucial if we are to stay ahead of these trends.

26. I urge everyone to make full use of the opportunity afforded by this symposium to share your insights, and strengthen ties with your colleagues. I wish you a fruitful and productive symposium. Thank you.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby dilkkz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:46 am

I think the site for feedback has gone live at

https://www.reach.gov.sg/YourSay/EConsu ... FormAction

under the 2nd link from the top, "Public Consultation on Proposed Framework to Restrict Remote Gambling" if anyone wants to feedback to the govt regarding the policy changes
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby DM101 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:19 am

dilkkz wrote:I think the site for feedback has gone live at

https://www.reach.gov.sg/YourSay/EConsu ... FormAction

under the 2nd link from the top, "Public Consultation on Proposed Framework to Restrict Remote Gambling" if anyone wants to feedback to the govt regarding the policy changes


Thank you for the link.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby Rogrecal » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:36 am

Clonz wrote:Hey guys,

We need to get out point across....I think it is important to get some credible representatives(online/live success poker players not degens currently i can only think of Gosubay and Bryan) to voice the views. Please help to spread the message and we need all the SG online poker pros to properly represent and give their view.....if possible must get pokerstars and their game specialist for help.

https://www.facebook.com/IswaranWestCoast


There is a wall post in there regarding about the ban



I agree with Clonz.


I am certain govt will not hold back on this restriction BUT if they can just do what the UK did regulate certain sites and those winning players get taxed( and pay CPF? LOL) thou it is a well known fact that poker is a game with low EV + edge and regs will have a harder time getting taxed.

Oh well better than nothing


edited: I dont even mind if we need to pay a levy without any restrcitions
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby Clonz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:12 pm

Hey guys we need to approach this strategically. We need to be in a coherent bunch and let our voices be heard.We need them to understand that winning players (we are basically providing a service to other fishes in other countries by playing poker and earning a nominal fee thru calculated risk and rewards) cannot be punished alongside with degens with gambling issues.

One of the many counter measure I can think off is that maybe we can restrict the deposits on pokerstars. Maybe maximum $600 a year but allow withdrawals. Good players thru proper bankroll mgmt can vritually built and survive... So the objectives are met...Degens can't put excessive money in the system while good sg players are getting money out of the system!

There is a meet the people session with Mr S Iswaran on Monday

http://www.wctc.org.sg/Meet_Mr_Iswaran_wo_map.html

Bryan as a credible poker representative of Asia and pokerstars, are you able to represent and help the poker players on this cause? We need other online players like Gosubay also to show the results with edge. The End justify the means.

We seriously need pokerstars in terms of their experience with UK regulators and all the research on winning player edge.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby PokerDroid_S » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:32 pm

U guys can forget about sending (poker) representatives to educate our govt.

To let our younger generations to become the next 'Phil Ivey' or ' Tom Dwan De Marco', is the last thing on their mind.

All I can say is u can kiss goodbye to Pokerstars next year & enjoy now while it lasts or u can find a alternate routes to get around the blockages.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby dilkkz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:21 pm

I think we can't deny the fact that the government is definitely going to do something about online poker/gaming, so can we try to push for regulation instead of absolute restriction? We need to remind the government that through taxing regulated poker sites will give them government revenue to fund other projects, like problem gambling initiatives. It's a long shot but if we don't do anything about it we will inevitably end up like the state of poker in the US, which is really pathetic.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby Rogrecal » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:39 pm

dilkkz wrote:
Rogrecal wrote:
with bitcoins? but essentially we still need a site to play at right?

Sorry, tbh i have zero knowledge on Bitcoins poker


yes bitcoins, because the government can't possibly control a fiat currency, or at least to the best of my knowledge. that's what the US players are doing now, either that or playing on illegal sites like Carbon, Lock and Bovada.

the spokesperson for sg's govt said they might use IP address blocking, not exactly an IT whiz but that doesn't sound too comforting.

Imo, essentially if Stars (with an international player pool) is regulated by the sg govt, 99%, if not all of us, wouldn't be worrying about this at all.



and talking about bitcoins
http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-ne ... -thrown-aw
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby Rogrecal » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:14 pm

well as mention, some of us agrees that Govt is not interested in grooming Poker... Stars to represent singapore or what.

But if we can convince Govt thru regulation and monitoring at least this might decrease the chance of bookies finding new ways to overcome this law and also continue provide some entertain(and maybe tax) for Singaporeans, it shld be a better idea than shutting it down totally.

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-ne ... g-20131129
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby ediotfromne » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:18 pm

PokerDroid_S wrote:U guys can forget about sending (poker) representatives to educate our govt.

To let our younger generations to become the next 'Phil Ivey' or ' Tom Dwan De Marco', is the last thing on their mind.

All I can say is u can kiss goodbye to Pokerstars next year & enjoy now while it lasts or u can find a alternate routes to get around the blockages.



Best post ITT by far.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby dilkkz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:26 pm

Well, I had some free time on my hands today, and I know most people aren't going to care about this, so I just drafted out a quick letter to the office. fwiw I might be wasting my time but hey at least we tried.

Code: Select all
To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you to offer my views regarding the regulation of online gaming. Personally, I do engage frequently in playing online, specifically, poker. Poker (The Hold Em variant, specifically), is considered to be a game requiring different sets of skills in order to gain an advantage versus other players in the game. As such, players who have a greater knowledge of the game will have an edge, and thus will show a higher success rate more often than others who have little or no comprehensive knowledge about the game. Yes, there's no denying that the game does involve an element of luck, but players who have a better knowledge of the game can minimize the luck element in the game, or also known as variance, to exploit the greater knowledge they have in the game. Many professionals of the game can acquire a stable win rate and live off the salary made from playing poker professionally, including a few people I know personally here in Singapore.

I am a regular in one of the most active poker strategy forums on the internet, the two plus two forums, and have read about similar conditions of banning online gaming in most states in the US. This has caused many people to find loopholes in the system, where they would bypass the system using illegal methods (like a VPN which bypasses the IP blocking system, as far as I know) even after the US DOJ (Department of Justice) has blocked access to gaming sites, which doesn't make the intended effect of completely shutting down internet gaming as effective as intended.

I have just came back from studying abroad for a couple of years in Denmark, and the regulation of gaming in the country, in my opinion, offers not just a cost-effective method of collecting tax revenue from the gaming sites by issuing permits to reliable and trustworthy sites, but they also use that tax revenue to fund problem gaming initiatives, while allowing players to enjoy the game they love, and allow professionals to retain their jobs. Personally, I considered poker to be a part-time job for me apart from being a student, where it allowed me to earn a substantial sum of money to support my studies abroad.

There is an ongoing discussion on the local poker forums, Pokerkaki, about this issue, and many players on the forums are more than willing to offer their take on the situation. I certainly do hope that us, players, are also considered to be 'stakeholders' of the situation, and that both sides of the issues can be taken into account and weighed.

Once again, thank you for taking the effort to view my take on the issue.

Best regards,
D


flame away, fellow sgpreans :)
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby 2RandomCards » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:30 pm

I think that the whole idea is to clam down on money laundering and illegal bookmaking in Asia, which has also been Interpol's agenda the past year or so. There are several points to note:

1) Money laundering through poker sites cant be that easy, can it?

2) Poker is obviously different from other forms of gambling (definition of gambling in sg is the wagering of money on anything, therefore cash games are definitely straight up gambling but tourneys would be questionable i guess?)

3) Trouble is, if we examine how money flows in poker, it goes from the weaker players to the strongest. If it continuously flows in that manner, especially from weaker+degen players, we're back to square one with the problem gambling argument.

I think that it needs very thorough consideration before an argument is sent to them.
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Re: Govt moves to curb remote gambling in Singapore

Postby 2RandomCards » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:31 pm

Also a survey involving only 1000 Singaporeans is weak imo
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