Singapore expands self-exclusion system to add non-casino gambling venues

genting-singapore-sentosaSingapore’s self-exclusion option, which allows citizens to voluntary ban themselves from entering the country’s two casinos, has now been expanded after the launch of a new centralized self-exclusion system.

With this new system, Singaporeans can now voluntarily exclude themselves from other gambling establishments in the country, including jackpot clubs and sports betting clubs. Under the old program, citizens could only have themselves banned from entering the Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands casinos. More than 200,000 casino exclusion orders have been issued to date, of which around 153,000 are the self-exclusion variety.

Currently, Singapore has 73 non-casino operators in the country and 21 of them have already signed up to participate under the new centralized system. Of the 21, twelve operators have already begun offering the self-exclusion option, wherein citizens can apply online by using their SingPass. Nine other operators will begin offering the option in August and expectations are that more operators will join the new system by the end of the year.

Despite the launch of this new system, some non-casino operators have expressed apprehension on whether self-exclusion is capable of providing a full blanket ban on any gambling option in the country. Tan Soo Nan, chief executive of the Singapore Pools sports lottery, told Channel News Asia of the challenges of implementing this new system for gamblers who bet at brick-and-mortar establishments. As result, Singapore Pools only offers self-exclusion for its telephone and online account betters.

Tan also pointed out that some operators – and bettors who bet in cash – are difficult to cover under the new self-exclusion system because they don’t have ‘continuous betting’. “Not all gambling products have the same propensity of risk because if you buy a game and wait one month, there’s a long break, whereas for some games, you go continuously,” Tan explained.

Tan, who is also co-chair of the Responsible Gambling Forum, said non-casino operators are also considering the possibility of third party exclusion, although he admits that would be a “complicated process.”