In an email reply to GGRAsia, the city-state’s Ministry of Home Affairs stated that a separate, centralised authority to supervise the entire gambling industry in Singapore is on track to be formed in 2021.
The new body – to be named the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) – will be a legislative board and will be reconstituted from the existing Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA), according to an April announcement from the ministry.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs will establish the Gambling Regulatory Authority and complete the review of gambling-related legislation in 2021,” said a spokesperson in a Wednesday statement to GGRAsia.
Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities in Singapore said they were moving ahead with plans to establish a new body that would be responsible for “regulating the entire gambling landscape in Singapore”.
There are two casino complexes in Singapore: Resorts World Sentosa, run by Resorts World of Sentosa Pte Ltd, a division of Genting Singapore Ltd; and Marina Bay Sands, run by Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd, a division of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a division of the United States. A variety of clubs allowed to sell slot-machine gaming are also in the city-state.
The authorities in Singapore have indicated that the move to merge the regulatory functions under the GRA would ensure that Singapore ” is abreadt of technological and global trends,” and could” respond faster to emerging products in particular those that cut across different domains, and take a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.”
Different government agencies, including the CRA controlling casinos; the Ministry of Home Affairs Gambling Regulatory Unit responsible for overseeing remote gambling; and the Singapore Totalisator Board overseeing gambling facilities provided by the Singapore Pools, are currently overseeing gambling control in Singapore.
Several knowledgeable commentators have described Singapore ‘s proposal to grow GRA as a logical step. Several of those referred to by GGRAsia indicated that gaming legislation in Singapore could also be merged into a single parliamentary act eventually.
Last year, the government of Singapore announced it had decided to expand the two casino resorts in the area. The respective operators will continue to maintain a duopoly on casino gaming in the city-state until 2030 in exchange for their investment-a total of SGD9 billion ( US$ 6.3 billion)-it was announced at the time.
The tourism boss of Singapore said in an August interview that it was “inevitable” that the expansion of the two casino resorts of the city-state will be delayed due to the damage to the construction sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic.