10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

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10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby donzo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:42 am

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Feb 10, 2011
Poker fans take their gamble online
Players risk flouting law, may be unable to collect winnings
By Chua Hian Hou

IT MAY be against the law, and it is not a sure bet that players of online poker can collect their winnings.

But this form of gambling seems to have caught on among Singaporeans, lured by its easy access - since all you need is an Internet account and a debit card - and outlays that can start from as low as a couple of dollars a game.

In the game, players draw cards from a deck and try to make a matching or sequential suit.

Take the case of Mr Nick Tan, 22, an accounting student at a private school, who found out about an online poker site from a friend.

'It was fun, especially since I managed to make more than I lost. I guess my economics background gave me an edge over other players,' said Mr Tan, who won nearly US$6,000 (S$7,700) in six months. He recently quit playing to focus on his studies.

Sites such as FullTilt Poker and PokerStars act as 24-hour gambling parlours where players can pit their skills against one to nine players, sometimes using chips bought with real money.

The sites generally do not charge for membership but make money by charging players a per-tournament entry fee or levying an administrative fee on the winnings of players.

While it is not known how many Singaporeans frequent these sites, a search online revealed dozens of Singapore poker blogs and forums, offering guides to online poker and discussions on playing strategy.

One of the more popular forums, called PokerKaki, boasts nearly 4,000 registered members. According to the website, more than 500 people visit it daily.

Lawyers warn that fans of online poker may be flouting the law, although no such case has gone to court as yet.

According to the Common Gaming Houses Act, those convicted of playing 'any game of chance or of mixed chance and skill for money or money's worth' in an unauthorised gambling site face fines of up to $5,000 and six months' jail.

Authorised gaming sites here include the two integrated resorts.

So far however, the police have not charged anyone with playing online poker though they have taken action against online gamblers in the past, said police spokesman William Goh. They had previously charged a number of people with illegal online soccer betting.

It is also illegal to play online poker for money in other countries like the United States, which has also not taken any action against players.

But some countries, like Britain, permit online poker games at approved sites.

Lawyer Bryan Tan said it is also a gamble whether an online player can collect from a loser who decides to default, or from a site that refuses to honour his attempt to cash out his winnings.

Online poker, like other forms of online gambling, is not covered under the Singapore Civil Law Act.

Under this Act, a winning player would be able to press his claims in court against a losing player if they had played at an approved gaming outlet.

But all bets are off at unapproved sites.

This does not faze Mr Nick Tan, though he has heard of players who were unable to withdraw winnings when the poker sites they played at closed down.

'I've had no problems getting my money out, and anyway the bulk of the players I interact with appear to be adults,' he said.

However, Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre senior counsellor Charles Lee has a different view.

'Right now, a lot of older people might not go online to play poker because they are not comfortable with the Internet, but among the young, we are already seeing more cases of problem online gambling. It will definitely become a bigger problem over time.'
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby necrohavoc » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:24 am

almost posted the same thing... PokerKaki is mentioned...

Nick Tan bao toh kia?... authorities might clamp down on this more..
i remember during the beginning of the new year...our ISPs blocked access to rapidshare/fileserve sites from SG ip...
I hope they don't do it to poker sites too

OH yah..gd luck to those posting games in the chat ..i'll definitely be avoiding publicized games now
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby support » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:00 pm

let's see if we can set a new record for people online per day (highest at 1141 in Jan).
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby WilliamPk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:17 pm

The only reason online poker is banned its cause government cant earn from it. HAHA
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby chenghao » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:40 pm

should enforce a chatbox games ban , both for the site and the safety of their games , they don't want easy raids do they

Free advertisement for pokerkaki lol
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby Afternoon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:00 pm

Home game operator please be more alert. Do not get yourself into deep trouble.
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby necrohavoc » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:19 pm

support wrote:let's see if we can set a new record for people online per day (highest at 1141 in Jan).


UV?
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby ChrisLai » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:13 pm

sighh... cannot play online... cannot play live...

this will b a great chance for the casinos to start opening the poker rooms...

bros who goes to the casino.. pls suggest ur feedback to the marketing peeps!
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby imtheone » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:32 pm

... for all players make sure your site is reliable...
there other online sites that give good service...
at pokerkaki.com this kind of problem wont happen... :):)
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Re: 10 Feb The Straits Times Article on Poker in Singapore

Postby support » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:58 pm

this article exposure is overrated... today's stats shows..

2 signups.
700+ visitors... compared to our average of 400-600... not much increase in traffic or exposure...... I call bullshit.
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