State-owned lottery company Singapore Pools has started offering its online betting services in Singapore.
Singapore pools is the first operator to offer online betting services since Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared that the firm and Singapore Turf Club race betting monopoly had been “found suitable” for exemption from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) that was enacted in February 2015.
Yahoo Finance reported that the betting services started to offer online betting services to the city state at 3 p.m., on Tuesday. The company’s patrons can now place their bets for popular lotto services such as 4D and Toto, as well as sports such as football and Formula 1.
Singapore Pool, however, is still banned from offering casino-style games online such as poker and blackjack. The government also prohibits Singapore Pool from allowing persons under 21 to place their bets and it require all bettors to undergo identity verification at a physical outlet.
“Many who like our lottery and sports betting games play for just a little flutter or social recreation. However, we recognize there may be a minority who may play beyond their means. As such, we have safeguards in place to help create a responsible gaming environment for all,” Singapore Pools said on its website.
“We design and communicate our products in a manner that will not promote excessive and irresponsible play. We have low minimum bet amounts and offer a conservative range of sports bets,” it added.
Horse-racing company Singapore Turf Club is expected to launch its online service on Nov 15.
Early this month, the Singapore government drew flak for allowing Singapore Pools and Turf Club to offer bets online, which critics claim to be sending “confusing and conflicting signals.”
Responding to his critics, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin has pointed out that regulating online betting will better protect its citizens that are drawn to these sites. He conceded that illegal online betting cannot be completely eradicated and in fact “is there and it is growing.”