The FIFA World Cup 2018 is upon us, and if you’re thinking of putting money where your mouth is (“goaaaal!”), read on to find out more about online betting in Singapore – because the website you’re surfing and the bookie you’re texting may land you in jail.
Online gambling in Singapore was outlawed in 2014, but made legal for local operators Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club in 2016. Before you start rejoicing that you can now build your retirement nest egg online in a single night, be aware that if you “accidentally” participate in illegal gambling, you’re liable to a fine of up to $5,000, 6 months of jail or both. Ouch.
So what’s legal and what’s not?
It’s simple – if you’re not betting with Singapore Pools and/or Singapore Turf Club, it’s illegal.
|Practice||Legal or illegal?|
|Online betting – Singapore Pools website||Legal|
|Online betting – Singapore Turf Club website||Legal|
|Other online betting sites||Illegal|
|Betting through local bookies||Illegal|
Legal: Betting on the Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club websites
In 2014, the Remote Gambling Act was enacted. Thanks to this act, it became illegal for Singaporeans to engage in any form of remote gambling. Remote gambling includes any type of gambling which takes place on the Internet, over the phone, via TV or radio, or any other kind of communications technology.
Basically, that means everything short of rocking up to an illegal bookie in person (which, incidentally, is also illegal).
That also means you’re restricted to the usual Toto, 4D, soccer, F1 and horse racing. So those of you who once harboured dreams of becoming professional poker players, sorry, but poker and casino-style games will not be on the menu.
Now, we’re not encouraging people to set up accounts at the above sites. And before people start baring their teeth about the fact that placing the above links here is going to encourage gambling, we’re assuming anyone intelligent enough to understand the concept of online betting knows how to Google.
Illegal: Betting on overseas-based remote gambling websites and services
Anybody who used to engage in online soccer betting or was an avid poker fan would have noticed that, all of a sudden in 2014, all your favourite online gambling sites got blocked. We have our beloved Remote Gambling Act to thank for that.
But just because you’ve finally managed to find an online betting site that hasn’t been blocked doesn’t mean it’s safe to use.
Neither does the fact that these betting websites are based overseas make you immune in any way. The Remote Gambling Act makes it illegal to use foreign remote betting services no matter where they’re based.
Illegal: Betting through local bookies
Practically everyone knows it’s illegal to place bets with local bookies, but the practice is still rife. Heck, you might even have a few friends with deep pockets who’ve decided to turn themselves into bookies on special occasions like the current FIFA World Cup 2018.
Any Singapore-based remote gambling services are, as you would expect, illegal, not just for the bookies but also for customers.
This doesn’t just include websites but also bets placed via telephone, text message, or through some guy who posted a message on an internet forum.
Basically, the bottom line is that unless you want to get into trouble, you’d best stick to Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club for online betting in Singapore. The odds offered might not be as good as what you used to get on LiveBet, but it beats being $5,000 poorer and spending 6 months behind bars.
Have you tried online betting in Singapore? Share your experiences in the comments!
The post Online Betting in Singapore - What's Legal and What's Illegal? appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.
More From MoneySmart