Assessing the Singapore iGaming Market
Singapore is a globally renowned centre of tourism, with the F1 race being a highlight of the sporting calendar. When it comes to iGaming (betting) however, it is more stringent than many countries.
Making the Most of No Deposit Bonuses
One of the main concerns that many players have when betting online is that there’s an inherent risk. Added to this is that playing at a new site can be a daunting experience, but one way to sidestep both of these potential problems is with a Singapore no deposit bonus. These are, naturally, available for players from Singapore to try their hand at betting sites for real money prizes, without any risk of losing cash (hence the no deposit promo name). It’s also the perfect way to bet online and take a new casino for a spin without risking any loss whatsoever.
Many online betting sites also offer special promotions aimed at users of particular banking methods, such as e-wallets like PayPal. So always be sure to check the detail and see what you can take advantage of.
Origins of Online Betting in Singapore
It is not so very long ago that betting was frowned upon in Singapore, and online betting did not even exist. As recently as 2016, it was not a legal activity. However, in that year the Singapore Pools, a state-owned entity, became the first Singapore operator to offer online betting services within the nation.
The lottery was the main betting product on offer, but sports betting was also accessible, with major categories covered including Formula 1 (the country hosts a Grand Prix), as well as football markets. Poker, blackjack, and other casinos games were not, however, on the betting menu.
Prior to the existence of the Singapore Pools, the country took a hardline approach against iGaming, including blocking unlicensed and illegal websites following the implementation of the 2014 Remote Gambling Act. However, luckily this doesn’t extend to regular gaming as those who attend gamescom asia will note.
Size of the Singapore Casino and Gaming Market
In 2020, the gross gaming win (the total sum wagered by players when the winnings distributed are subtracted) hit $6.6bn, a modest decline from 2016. However, this was due in large part to the disruptive impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic (in common with other countries such as Canada and the United States), which hit the land-based aspect of casino gaming very hard indeed.
The online and telephone operations of Singapore Pools, the nation’s state-owned lottery firm, were closed in April 2020 but resumed activities in June of that year. Online sports betting also resumed (some markets earlier than others), although brick and mortar casinos stayed closed for longer.
Domestic and Offshore Betting
In addition to Singapore Pools, the only other legal online betting activity within the country takes place at the Singapore Turf Club, although more organizations may be granted exemptions in the future. Horse racing fans can place bets at the Turf Club, with F1 and soccer covered by the Pools, but there is not a wide range of alternatives at the time of writing.
In addition, this is not like the grey legal situation in Canada whereby limited onshore outlets for betting can be readily augmented by taking advantage of the hundreds of offshore casinos. In Singapore, the Remote Gambling Act forbids betting at remote, foreign sites regardless of their own location. Fines for breaking the law can run up to $5,000, or you might just end up inside a cell for six months.
While Singapore is somewhat more liberal than it was when it comes to betting, the country is still very strict so if you’re there and thinking of wagering, stick to the Singapore Pools, or the Singapore Turf Club.
Looking to the Future
In February 2022, the Singapore Parliament completed the first reading of a bill to reform land-based gambling and rename the country’s regulatory body to the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore. The new authority would be responsible for revoking, renewing, or permitting new licenses.
When it comes to the overall size of the iGaming market, $6.6bn in 2020, this is forecast to grow rapidly and reach the $8.6bn mark in 2025. This, coupled with the slow but gradual loosening of the strict approach, may mean more operators are able to offer online betting in the future.
Technological innovations such as mobile gaming have helped turbocharge the international sector, and when VR and 5G come into play it’s not hard to see how offshore sites will be quick to embrace it. This may also spur more online betting in Singapore as well.
From a stern opposition to betting to a multi-billion dollar industry, Singapore currently maintains a relatively strict approach to regulation, but this may continue to slowly mellow in the years ahead.