|In Singapore, a recent study has revealed that online gambling has increased ten-fold over the past three years even though placing bets with foreign operators is illegal.|
A survey from the Ministry for Community Development Youth and Sports revealed that one percent of the 2,300 people polled said that they gambled online compared with just 0.1 per cent in 2005.
According to a piece from online publication AsiaOne, placing bets with operators not exempt under the Betting Act and the Common Gaming Houses Act is an offence and gamblers could be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for six months. In addition, the only two legal operators for the south Asian island state, Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club, do not provide online gambling facilities.
However, popular online sites for Singaporese gamblers include UK-based Betfair.com, which offers casino games such as blackjack and poker in addition to sportsbetting services. AsiaOne reported that gamblers circumvent Singapore credit cards not being accepted by using bank transfers or third parties such as Moneybookers.com.
“People need to understand that though they may have the occasional win, over the long-term, they will lose money,” said Suresh Anantha from the Institute of Mental Health's Community Addictions Management Programme.
“That is how all gambling games work.”