THE government has given the go-ahead for Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club (STC) to offer their gambling services online.
This comes after both operators were deemed exempt under the Remote Gambling Act for a period of three years, said the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) in a statement on Thursday evening. Singapore Pools will roll out a Web-based service on Oct 25, while STC will introduce a Web-based service and a new iTote mobile app on Nov 15.
The ministry said that the pair will be allowed to accept online bets for their existing products - lottery and sports betting for Singapore Pools, and horse-racing betting for STC - under a stringent set of conditions.
All customers must be at least 21 years of age, and those excluded from Singapore's two casinos are automatically barred. Singapore Pools and STC must also verify the customer's identity and age by requiring him or her to visit one of their branches in person.
There will be no gambling on credit, and players must set their preferred daily expenditure and funding limits.
Each time a player logs on to his online account, there will be a two-factor authentication process. The player will have to key in his user ID and a one-time password that will be sent to his registered mobile phone.
To ensure compliance with these conditions, both Singapore Pools and STC will be subject to regular audits and inspections. Any breach could see them face penalties such as a fine of up to S$1 million for each instance of non-compliance.
In a statement, MHA said that it was not in favour of a complete ban on remote gambling as this would drive demand and activities underground, and could create larger incentives for criminal syndicates to target Singapore.