Petition to stop legalisation of online gambling in S’pore tops 10,000 signatures
Online betting could be available in Singapore as early as October 2016.
An online petition demanding a halt to the legalisation of online gambling in Singapore has gathered more than 10,000 signatures in less than two weeks.
The petition was started on Sept. 15, in response to news that Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club have set up online facilities to accept bets and are only awaiting for the authorities to approve their applications to operate.
Both entities are seeking to be the first to be exempted from the Remote Gambling Act, which came into effect in February last year that saw multiple overseas betting sites blocked. The Act criminalises a host of remote gambling activities, which includes phone betting.
Singapore Pools had its first online betting website up and running about two weeks before the start of Euro 2016, which kicked off in France on June 10.
However, it did not manage to launch in time for that particular competition.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said it was evaluating applications from Singapore Pools and STC — a statement which the ministry is still using when queried by the media about the status of applications.
The earliest date legal online gambling is estimated to be available in Singapore is October 2016.
The petition is targeted at the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
This is what portions of petition read:
This petition is to call upon the Singapore Government to immediately and unequivocally reject Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club’s appeal for exemption from the Remote Gambling Act. We, as fellow citizens of Singapore, are deeply concerned about the possible implications of allowing such exemptions due to the many and real problems caused by the easy availability of online betting.
Even setting limits on how much and how often one can bet is not enough, because the very nature of online betting can cause young people to become addicted to gambling – which can last for a lifetime and be just as addictive or even more than drugs.
Families have been ruined, fathers and mothers have attempted suicide, careers and marriages destroyed… is it worth it to sacrifice the future of a nation and our next generation for short-term financial gains?
Thus, the best defense against gambling addiction is to prevent gambling addiction in the first place. Prevention is better than cure.
Therefore let us call upon the Government to set a clear sign that online gambling will continue to not be tolerated, especially in an age where the Internet makes it too easy for young people to get hooked.