Lunch Forum on “Remote Gambling - Risks and Regulation”


Remote gambling refers to gambling through the use of the Internet. The Singapore Government announced in November 2013 that it intends to ban remote gambling but will consider some exemptions for activities that can be tightly regulated.

The announcement comes as countries worldwide review their regulations to address the harms of remote gambling. Singapore’s Home Affairs Ministry noted that in 2012, the global revenue of the remote gambling industry was estimated at US$35 billion, with an expected annual growth rate of about 9%. This is about five times the expected growth for terrestrial gambling. Separately, British gaming consultancy H2 Gambling Capital told local media that it pegged Singapore’s mobile gambling market at €218 million (S$377 million) in 2012, with its figure for Asia at €2.3 billion.

Differing national priorities have shaped state regulation of remote gambling globally, but countries may share common considerations and challenges in instituting such rules. This makes a discussion of what has been done elsewhere useful for Singapore. In July 2012, the impact of remote gambling was highlighted at a discussion hosted by IPS featuring academics from Singapore, Australia and the UK.

For this Lunch Forum, the Institute of Policy Studies has invited Mr Christian Kalb, a European Union expert on sports betting and sports governance. Over the last 15 years, Mr Kalb has worked with the European Commission, the European Parliament, and more than 22 governments in Europe and Africa on regulatory issues, focusing on anti-doping, match-fixing, money laundering and online gambling. Mr Kalb’s presentation will kick off a discussion about a proposed regulatory regime in Singapore that will focus on the following questions:

  1. While social ills are associated with remote gambling, there are challenges in instituting fully prohibitive regulation. How are these regulatory dilemmas being resolved in the European context?
  1. Should remote gambling be treated as a subset of traditional gambling? What are the issues that could arise from extending Singapore’s current approach to terrestrial gambling to remote gambling? Are there other ways of curbing the ills of the latter instead of, or in addition to, statutory regulation?
  1. What are some case studies of regulatory frameworks that can offer insights to Singapore, especially in understanding the loopholes that might emerge in the enforcement of regulation?

How does the thriving sports betting segment within the remote gambling industry affect a discussion of regulating the industry for Singapore?




Tuesday, 18 February 2014
12.00 pm to 2.00 pm

Ballroom 3 (Level 3) Orchard Hotel Singapore