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Singapore Casinos Business: Fees, Duration of Licenses and Requirements for Operators

Author: Ivanna Shostak
5 August 2020, 17:23
Votes: 3

Singapore is a city-state situated in Southeast Asia where gambling activities were banned for a long time. At present, gambling in the country is only partially legalized. The current legislation defines provisions that allow several operators to organize the operation of online bookmakers and land-based gambling establishments.

Singapore Casinos Business: Fees, Duration of Licenses and Requirements for Operators

At the same time, the government of the country imposes strict restrictions on the provision of gambling services and their utilization. That, however, did not prevent this island city-state from becoming one of the largest gambling zones in the world.

Stay up to date with the latest industry events following the most interesting gambling news.

How to start a casino in Singapore?

In 2006, Singapore made the decision to partially legalize gambling. The legal framework was developed specifically for the creation of two resort casino hotels with a large territory. It took five years to build and organize the work of the first gambling establishments in the island city-state. In 2010, they were finally opened:

  • Marina Bay Sands complex, which includes a gambling establishment with more than six hundred playing tables and over one thousand and five hundred slot machines, as well as a few VIP lounges for high rollers.
  • Resorts World Sentosa complex one part of which is a casino with over one thousand playing tables and more than two thousand and five hundred slot machines.

Both casinos are well known outside Singapore and are constantly included in the list of the best gambling establishments in the whole world and compared to the most expensive casinos in Las Vegas, Macau, and Malaysia.

To start a business in this industry, you need to be aware of numerous important terms. One of them is the gross gaming revenue indicator.

An insight into Singapore gambling regulations

As mentioned earlier, the gambling business in the country is regulated strictly. By opening access to exciting gambling activities in Singapore for tourists from other countries, the government sought to protect its citizens from such type of entertainment.

It should be noted that there is an interesting provision in the gambling legislation of the country. According to it, the only way to obtain a license for the operation in this field is to receive a so-called certificate of exemption.

Singapore Casinos

One of the clearest requirements established by the Casino Control Act of Singapore is the existence of a limit on the number of licenses that can be issued – up to two. And both were already received by the before-mentioned Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. Moreover, the previous year their licenses were renewed for a period of three years. Thus, it seems very unlikely that a new gambling establishment might appear on the territory of this city-state in the near future.

On the other hand, the Private Lotteries Act states that the issuance of permissions for the operation is considered individually. CRA (Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore) can issue such licenses for operators if later are found to be eligible.  The CRA commission, which is responsible for this process, usually includes at least three specialists, appointed by the minister. The following criteria are taking into account in this case:

  • whether an operator has a good reputation;
  • an applicant’s success in business to find out whether this person is able to maintain a gambling establishment;
  • whether an applicant has enough resources to operate a business;
  • the transparency of the sources of an operator’s funds;
  • the reputation of partners and assistants of an applicant.

Operators may also be asked to provide a package of documents confirming the credibility of the given information. According to the Casino Control Regulations of 2009, each applicant must also pay a fee of SG $ 1100, which is considered evidence of an operator’s capability to operate a business.

The duration of a permit issued under the Private Lotteries Act is determined by the appropriate body. The document also states that to be able to operate a fruit machine, it is necessary to pay S$ 195-700 per year.

A casino license that is granted under the Casino Control Act is, as a rule, valid for three years (or it can be another term determined by the CRA). The casino licensing fee is S$ 22.8 million per one year for the operation of one gambling establishment and S$ 38 million for the operation of two gambling establishments.

singapore gambling

Establishing an online casino in Singapore

The situation with online gambling in the city-state is even more complicated. Officially, all types of remote gambling are illegal.

The first attempts to legalize gambling on the Internet were undertaken by operators in 2013. However, the government refused to pass the relevant bill. In two years, another attempt to legitimize online gambling was made but this led to the same result. However, in 2016, two companies, local operators Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, managed to obtain certificates of exemption that allowed them to operate online. It should be noted that both operators specialize exclusively in organizing lotteries and accepting bets.

If you are highly interested in establishing a virtual gambling establishment, find out about the best providers of online casino software.

Online casinos in Singapore: essential information for operators

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) may issue a certificate of exemption if it is in the public interest. To determine whether an exemption can benefit the society, the MHA take into consideration the following things:

  • whether an operator is based/registered in Singapore, which helps to ensure the enforcement of all conditions of the certificate of exemption;
  • whether an applicant is a non-profit organization that distributes some of its funds to charitable or other social purposes in Singapore;
  • whether an operator has an ongoing record of compliance with regulatory requirements in relation to online gambling or other activities both in Singapore and abroad;
  • whether any key officer of an operator has ever been convicted of one or more crimes in Singapore, which makes this person unsuitable to be a key officer of an applicant.

Moreover, the Ministry of Home Affairs may also consider other factors that might be relevant in this case.

online casinos in Singapore

Unfortunately, in the Remote Gambling Act, there is no information regarding an application procedure. All we know thanks to the media is that both Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club submitted applications in written form in addition to other supporting documents to the MHA.

The duration of such a certificate will be determined by the Ministry of Home Affairs. As for the fees, they are not specified in the Remote Gambling Act.

If you are more interested in online gambling, read about various popular platforms at our site. For instance, have a look at the full list of the best UK online casinos.

Frequently asked questions about gambling in Singapore

How many casinos are there in Singapore?

At present, there are two big entertainment complexes with a hotel and a casino in Singapore.

How to play casino games in Singapore?

Casinos in Singapore have typical offers of games. If you have ever tried gambling at any land-based gambling establishment or online, you will not face any difficulties at Singapore casinos.

How to win in a casino at Singapore?

In order to win at gambling establishments in Singapore, you may utilize diverse strategies that will help increase your chances of success.

Read more: Online gambling in Europe: important information about legislation

Read more: What is the legal Las Vegas gambling age?

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