During the Fifth Singapore Symposium on Gambling Regulation and Crime, a number of new proposals were made with regards to curbing the menace that is problem gambling and promoting responsible gambling behavior. Speaking at the event, Josephine Teo, who occupies the position of the Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Home Affairs, said that the country’s Casino Regulatory Authority has been hard at work trying to come up with policies that will best protect gambling patrons. She further pointed out that their efforts have involved studies and reviews of the good practices and responsible gambling measures that have been introduced by other jurisdictions from all around the world.
One of the most notable announcements was about personalized alerts that would be sent to gamblers. These alerts would give the patrons information about the amount of time and money that they had spent gambling. The goal here is to give the gamblers the opportunity to voluntarily self-regulate their gambling activities by setting limits on the money and time spent. The Manpower Minister further suggested that, in addition to the alerts, the gambling operators should also set expenditure and loss limits.
“We are working closely with the casinos in Singapore to implement measures to help patrons make informed decisions about gambling. Some measures being studied include providing patrons with notifications on amount and time spent in the casinos, and encouraging patrons to voluntarily set caps on expenditure and duration of play,” the minister said.
If implemented, the personalized alerts will complement some of the country’s existing responsible gambling measures including the events that are organized by the Responsible Gambling Forum.
Other than offering solutions to help gamblers regulate their gambling habits, it was also revealed at the symposium that regulators from all around the world should work on new measures in order to regulate “novel” gambling products like loot boxes in video games. These gambling products appeal mostly to the younger generation and they have been growing rapidly partly because of the rapid growth of online gambling – obviously, it could turn into a huge problem if not handled appropriately.
To that effect, Mrs. Teo believes that it is important for the authorities and regulators to “put on our thinking hats, and probably take a look at the new laws that we need to put in place to regulate.” She also called on the regulators and law enforcement bodies to stay up to date with the developments associated with the “novel” gambling products which will help them to ensure that their rules and policies remain effective.