Singapore Pools may not have made it in time for Euro 2016, but there’s only a little bit of wait left before the state-owned lottery company will be able to launch its online services.
In fact, the lottery operator, along with the Singapore Turf Club, is reportedly gearing up to launch “as early as the second half” of October. According to The Straits Times, the two lottery operators “are running final tests on their online betting platforms and have prepared advisories for staff and customers” in hopes of getting exempted from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) by the end of September.
The RGA, which took place in February 2015, prohibits all online gambling sites in Singapore except those that divert most of their proceeds to charitable and other social causes. Both Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club are non-profit organizations operating under the umbrella of the Ministry of Finance’s statutory Singapore Tote Board, and their gaming wins are channelled to the board for charitable and social causes. Singapore Pools, which holds a monopoly on sports lottery products in the city state, has been given six months to apply for an exemption on the RGA.
The Ministry of Home Affairs told The Straits Times that it currently “evaluating applications” from the two operators.
A green light from the government will allow the two operators to venture into online betting. Aside from 4D and Toto, Singapore Pools offers football and motor racing betting products, while Singapore Turf Club takes bets on horse races.
Singapore Pools had been planning to launch its new site before the June 10 kickoff of Euro 2016, but had failed to do so. The company’s existing site allows punters to check sports odds, but actual wagers must be placed over the phone or at one of the company’s retail points of sale. Singapore Pools’ new site, which is to be powered by betting technology stalwart OpenBet, would allow punters to place wagers directly online.
At the time, the Ministry of Home Affairs answer to inquiries about the state of Singapore Pool’s application was, well, “currently being evaluated.”