Singapore To Integrate New Gaming Authority in 2021
Integrated casino resorts in Singapore will be under a new gaming authority by 2021.
In country’s where gambling is permitted via casino facility, there is a regulating body that helps to ensure fair play and player security. Each region is different, based on the legalities of the country and what type of gaming is offered. It is unusual for a country to ditch their previous gaming authority and create a new overseer, but here lately, that has been in the case in several regions as new gaming laws are enacted. In Singapore, the Resorts World Sentosa Casino and the Marina Bay Sands will be subject to a new gaming authority by next year, as the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) comes into play.
The integrated resorts are overseen by the Singapore Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) right now. The agency checks to make sure the management of the casino is suitable as well as the overall operations. The properties need to be free of criminal activity as well as exploitation.
Additional roles of the group are to ensure the operations take place in a fair manner, with care given to protect minors and vulnerable players from gambling harm. This will all chance next year as the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) comes into play. The Ministry of Home Affairs will create the new group and review gambling-related legislation next year.
Both the Genting Group and the Las Vegas Sands agreed in 2019 to pay $3.3 billion to invest into their properties. At the same time, officials in Singapore agreed to allow the duopoly of casino gambling to continue for another decade. The deal lasts through January 2031.
Updated Regulatory Agency
Commercial gambling and IR permits were first allowed in Singapore back in 2005. Since so much time has passed, officials now feel that the gaming regulatory agency overseeing the activity needs to be updated. In speaking with the media, a spokesperson for CRA said that the move to a new agency is being done to stay on top of technological and global trends.
With GRA, the agency will be able to respond in a timely manner to new products, particularly those that work across different domains. The group will also be able to take a more holistic approach to issues and polices regarding the industry.
Right now, the CRA takes care of regulating the Resorts World Sentosa and the Marina Bay Sands. A separate Gambling Regulatory Unit is in charge of the offshore and remote gambling services. With GRA, all the regulatory needs will be condensed. The GRA will be in charge of the entire gambling industry in Singapore.
The change will come just a few months after the Singapore integrated resorts got back to work. The two land-based casinos were forced to shut down in early April due to the coronavirus pandemic. They stayed closed until the 1st of July. The CRA allowed the casinos to reopen and required several safeguards to be put in place to protect employees as well as patrons. Temperature screenings must take place along with face masks worn at all times.
Right now, only Annual Levy Holders and players who are casino rewards members can access gaming. Players who want the right to gamble can pay for an annual ticket entry which costs $2,220. This is a high price to pay to gain access to the gambling options, but the only way that players can enter the venues at this time.
The CRA will continue to be in charge of the gambling industry for the remainder of the year and officials expect a smooth transition as the new year begins. It will be interesting to see how the new regulator affects the industry now that it will be in charge of all aspects of the market.