Singapore to steer clear of further crypto gambling regulation
While the use of crypto casinos is growing around the world, one location where there is reluctance to embrace the secure online payment method is Singapore.
The south-east Asian city state recently launched a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority, which was introduced in 2022 in order to replace the former Casino Regulatory Authority, and has signalled its opposition to cryptocurrency.
While Bitcoin and other crypto options such as Ethereum are now widely accepted at online casinos, it seems unlikely this situation will be replicated in Singapore any time soon. The GRA’s general counsel Albert Yeo recently told a regulatory meeting held in the Australian city of Sydney that “there is no real appetite” to embrace cryptocurrency in Singapore.
Although the country’s pair of integrated casino resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, are among the world’s most impressive venues of their type, players at the two sites are not expected to be given the chance to play games with crypto any time soon.
Yeo said: “[Cryptocurrency] is very volatile in terms of its revenue stream. Internally the idea is to just not allow it to begin with or to even allow it into the door. The moment you start even entertaining [the idea] you know it will be difficult to stop. I’m not sure if there is any legislative framework that would allow us to do it anyway but we are looking into it and seeing where it is creeping in and making sure it doesn’t invade the casinos in Singapore.”
The GRA will continue to assess crypto gambling to see whether or not it falls under its remit, noted Yeo, but players in Singapore are likely to be able to find ways to use Bitcoin and other crypto options to place bets online if they wish to do so. In Singapore, online games of chance are currently regulated under the Gambling Control (Remote Games of Chance – Class Licence) Order 2022, which means that cryptocurrencies or blockchain games are not banned.
Regulators such as the GRA in Singapore find it challenging to monitor cryptocurrency payments as a result of the fact the technology is anonymous. This is deemed one of the benefits to using crypto for online gambling, as players can avoid sharing financial information with online casino sites that are likely to be attractive targets for hackers.
“We know it is a new space and we are engaging the developers themselves, trying to understand what the products mean,” Yeo added.