Before Singapore became one of the affluent entertainment hubs in the world, it was merely a rural land inhabited by Malay and Chinese immigrants. The history of the city-state itself is rich and interesting and just like other South-east Asian countries, it has a colonial streak in its past. We will delve deeper into the establishment of online casinos in Singapore.
During the 19th century, the land has already been a backdrop to the Malays and Chinese diaspora across the peninsula. Before online gambling in Singapore was established, each of the races had already established gambling activities on their own. The Chinese are well-known to play card games and mahjong while the Malays bet on cock-fighting.
Back then, Singapore was subjected to British rule which affected the industry. The colonials think that gambling is a harmful vice and must be obliterated. A British administrator named Stamford Ruffles banned gambling with the notion that it has a detrimental effect on the minds of the locals.
After WWII, gambling endured as a social pastime, cockfighting fits and casinos thrived albeit with the government’s warning. It’s been long since the establishment of the state of Singapore and independence from British rule, by the 21st century, online gambling in Singapore has been a thriving business.
Singapore has opened its doors to the world with two of its grandiose resorts: Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. The two became an instant tourist destination and offer a variety of entertainment including casinos. The government however licensed these establishments on the condition that they favor foreign visitors than locals to attract more tourists.
The rise of the internet
The wonders of the internet also paved the way for gamblers to adapt to the modern world. Online casino platforms became prominent in the 21st century and they will continue to evolve in the next ten years. Online gambling in Singapore is relatively new since the government has a history of prohibiting the industry to thrive to fend off illegal gambling.
During the 1990s where online gambling was born, Singaporeans are still walking on eggshells when it comes to this activity because of the restrictions mandated by the government. In the past, gambling is associated with organized crime groups, and illegal activities like prostitution cause the government to prohibit gambling.
In 2013, the Singaporean government announced that it would block any access to the online casinos or any transactions related to online casino Singapore. The government passed laws that restrict any sites that operate gambling without a license. The result became many Singaporeans turned to illegally access foreign online casino sites.
The Remote Gambling Act
In 2014, the Remote Gambling Act mandated by the Ministry of Home Affairs hereby allows Singapore Turf Club and Singapore Polls to accept online wagers for TOTO, lotteries, and motocross. The act also allows these operators to apply for licenses and be exempted in anti-money laundering legislation.
Unfortunately, the legislation only protects the aforementioned activities including football, and does not include any online casino activities. Up to this day, Singaporean law has restricted online gambling to prevent bettors from accessing foreign websites without being subjected to taxed transactions.
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