Is Gambling (In Public or Online) Legal in Singapore?

The Republic of Singapore is an island off the coast of Malaysia with an area of 719 square kilometers. The capital of the country is also the largest city known as Singapore City. The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). It was a British colony in 1819.

How Do You Define Gambling?

Today Singapore is a flourishing, tax-friendly nation that has the third-highest population density in the world. “Gambling” in Singapore has wide connotations according to the Remote Gambling Act (RGA). It can include taking part in a lottery, betting, and also any online casino in Singapore. Betting refers to any sporting event or horse race where players can bet money on the final result of the event. 

Gaming is where a player or several players play a game that can require some level of skill but also an element of chance. In gaming, players can stand to make monetary gains based on the outcome. Any games that do not involve money, like mahjong or any other similar games, cannot be identified as gaming according to the Common Gaming Houses Act (CGHA). 

According to the CGHA, a lottery is any game of chance where players stand to make the monetary equivalent of monetary gains. It does not make a difference if the lottery is held within Singapore or outside. 

Is Gaming Legal?

According to the CGHA gaming is an offense if it is done in a conventional gaming lodge. Any place that is reserved specifically for gaming purposes, whether it is in public or at home, is illegal. It is not illegal to participate in gaming if you do it at home in a place that is also used for other purposes. 

It can be illegal if you have a particular place at home specifically designed for gaming and nothing else. You and your friends could face a $5,000 fine or 6 months in prison if convicted of gaming. There is no harm done if you and your friends engage in gaming once in a while at home. 

If you want to legally engage in gaming you can do so with a small group of friends. Avoid inviting strangers or people you do not know into the group. Providing access to strangers can be considered as making it available to the public. Things can get even worse if the stranger decides to report you because they did not win. 

Another tip is to always participate in gaming in a private location. Refrain from gaming in public places because this is also illegal. Avoid inviting professional gamblers that already have huge debts to their names. Experienced gamblers might also be willing to spend large amounts of money just to pressurize their opponents and the authorities might be tracing them. 

Is It Legal To Gamble In Public?

Any place that is easily accessible to the public is known as a public place. This includes all of the forms of public transportation, parks, malls, educational institutes, and government offices. Engaging in any form of gambling in a public place is illegal in Singapore. 

There is a huge difference between the laws enforced for the local public and those for tourists. In 2006 the Casino Control Act was formed. The Act granted licenses to local organizations. It also provided the structure for licensed casinos built specifically for tourists. 

The Casino Control Act also prevented the residents from entering and gambling in the casinos. If a resident wanted to enter into a casino they would have to pay a large entry fee that is nonrefundable. The entry fee would be charged every time a local wants to enter the casino. The locals can engage in all of the different games inside the casino after paying the entry fee. 

Entry for the tourists and visitors was zero. Even now there is no proper framework or government regulating authority for licensing online casinos in Singapore. It is the collective opinion of legal experts in Singapore that it is not illegal to gamble online from the vicinity of your home whether you are a local or tourist. 

According to Singapore law, it is illegal for anyone to play “jackpot” using a “jackpot machine” whether it is at home or in public. The Singapore government needs to issue a permit to any casino that houses a jackpot machine. It will be legal to play jackpot in a casino that holds the license for it. 

Youngsters & Gambling

Singapore has different legal ages for people to participate in gambling activities. In some cases, the legal gambling age is 21. There are other gambling activities that a person over the age of 18 can participate in legally. A fine of $1,000 can be imposed if a minor is caught faking their ID just to get into a casino. 

It is also prohibited to lure youngsters below the age of 21 into gambling. A person who entices a minor into gambling can face a minimum fine of $20,000 which can go all the way up to $300,000 with 6 months behind bars. The person will not be liable for any consequences if they can verify that they took all the steps necessary to ensure the person is of the legal age limit

Key Takeaways

You are not breaking any laws if you are gaming online in the comfort of your home once in a while. You are also not breaking any laws if you engage in a friendly game of poker at home with your friends or people that you know. Make sure that there are not any people that you do not know or trust at such an event. 

The place where you conduct the gambling activity should not be dedicated solely to gamble. Also, it shouldn’t be a public place where anyone can see what is happening unless you have a license. Invite your friends and relatives to a private place that is not open to the public for a friendly game. Gambling can be a lot of fun in the right place at the right time. 

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