Despite the growing concerns among the Singaporean authorities, the gambling industry in Singapore is thriving. It has grown exponentially over the last few decades, and technological advancements have made it easier for Singaporeans to engage in all forms of betting. If you have been wondering what is the best way to go about betting in Singapore, then this guide will furnish you with all the information you need to know. At the end of it, you will be in a position to make sound decisions before you embark on betting.
Online gambling definitions in Singapore
There is no difference between gaming and gambling in Singapore. Both terms refer to participating in a game of chance, or mixed skill and chance for a monetary gain.
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Betting is wagering on events with the hope of a payout if the game plays out as predicted. This could sport such as football or horse racing.
Participating in a lottery
According to the Private Lotteries Act, ‘a lottery is any scheme where the money is allotted in a way that is determined by chance.’ Participating in a lottery is playing in a game of chance where funds are pooled from many participants. It entails buying a ticket with the intent of winning a promised monetary price.
History and evolution of gambling in Singapore
Gambling is not new in Singapore. It is said that the colonial police in the 1820s relied on funding from betting activities. However, the gambling industry was not well-regulated. As a result, illegal betting activities dominated the gambling scene. By 1960, illegal gambling was so prevalent that the legislators introduced The Betting Act (Cap 21) in a bid to curb it.
Gambling activities were limited to Toto games, 4D, Singapore Sweep Lottery, and so on. The law forbade all other forms of betting activities.
In 1999, the government legalised football betting. The revenue from this form of gambling would be used to support the first professional Singapore football league (S-League).
In 2002, the government moved to further allow punters to bet on other leagues. Foreign matches had become popular across the country. And letting sports enthusiasts bet on these leagues would generate more revenue for the S-league. These tournaments included the 2002 World Cup, English Premier League as well as other international matches.
In 2005, the Singaporean government decided to lift bans on various casinos in the city-states. As of today, several casinos operate legally in Singapore. The betting scene continues to evolve and gamblers now have a lot of options.
Online betting in Singapore
Online betting in Singapore is to some extent legal. Besides the state-owned pools that offer sports betting, there are a lot of overseas sportsbooks that take on Singaporean players. The law doesn’t allow any person under 21 years to own an online betting account. This law hugely applies to the Singaporean Pools.
However, most foreign online casinos allow anyone who has attained the age of 18 years to bet on their platforms. Singapore pools limit punters to football, horse racing, and motorsports. But with foreign bookmakers, players enjoy an unlimited betting experience, which includes a wide array of sports and casino games. That said, you are likely to have more fun and fulfilling betting experience on foreign online sportsbooks.
What is legal/illegal?
Online gambling offered by Singaporean pools is the only legal form of online betting in the country. Players can bet on foreign online platforms, but they can get in trouble with the law. Nonetheless, the chances of this happening are slim. The law allows only two physical casinos to operate in Singapore. Therefore, the law outlaws any other betting house.
Sports betting and gambling laws in Singapore
Singapore has a well-structured legal framework that regulates the betting and gambling industry. These pieces of legislation cover all aspects of betting, including online casinos and betting houses. Foreign online bookmakers are the only grey area. Therefore, most Singaporeans comfortably wager on various sports and casino games on offshore online casinos.
The main laws that address gambling in Singapore
There are five main laws that address all gambling issues in Singapore. In this section, we will give an in-depth insight into each one of them.
Private Lotteries Act of 1952
According to the Private Lotteries Act, any entity that intends to run a lottery such as a tombola or lucky draw must apply for a private permit. The act forbids promoting or organising such schemes without a permit.
The Betting Act of 1960
The Betting Act was enacted in 1960 due to the rampant betting houses at the time. It prohibits all betting activities in public and common betting houses. This legislation only exempts a few organisations.
Common Gaming Houses Act of 1961
The Common Gaming Houses Act of 1961 is not different from the Betting Act. It outlaws public lotteries, public gaming, and common betting houses. Again, a few organisations can be exempted from this law by relevant authorities in unique circumstances.
Casino Control Act 2006
The 2006 casino act set the regulations and provisions of operating a casino in Singapore.The act allows only two casinos to operate within the country. Those who participate in gambling activities have to pay the levies stipulated by the Singaporean government. The act seeks to prevent problem gambling.
Remote Gambling Act
The Remote Gambling Act of 2014 outlaws online betting. It states that any individual who participates in online betting from a pool that is not exempted by the law is guilty. Breaking this law attracts hefty fines and even a jail term of up to 6 months.
The bottom line on betting legality in Singapore
The bottom line is that most betting activities in Singapore are illegal. These include promoting lotteries or participating in public betting activities without a permit. Gambling on foreign online platforms is also forbidden by the law. However, the law allows several Singaporean pools to offer online betting legally. Most importantly, punters can bet on foreign online sites without getting into legal problems.
Popular sports people bet on in Singapore
Horse racing is one of the popular games with many fans in Singapore, which in turn attracts more people into betting on their favourite horses.
Football is the other most popular sport in Singapore. Most of the Singaporeans not only follow the sport but also like to wager on football matches. Its frequency and availability of multiple leagues make it a hot prospect. Usually, Singaporeans will bet on the J-league, Chinese Super League, English Premier League, and the MLS.
Tennis is another popular sport among Singaporeans bettors. And like football and horse racing, its frequency is one of the reasons why they love it.
Motor racing is also popular here. Singaporeans love car racing events, and most of them follow the best motor racing events. For this reason, betting operators offer comprehensive motor racing markets.
Singapore betting odds format
Singaporeans use the decimal point odds format. It is the same odds system used in Europe. And since this is the format used by various pools and Turf clubs in Singapore, foreign casinos have followed suit.
Why most people prefer foreign bookies over domestic ones
Most Singaporeans prefer foreign bookies over domestic ones for several reasons. Unlike Singaporean pools, foreign sportsbooks offer a wider variety of sports markets as well as casino games.
When it comes to Singapore pools, punters who are not 21 years of age cannot open an online betting account. On the other hand, foreign bookies accept any Singaporeans who are 18 years and over.
How to choose the right online betting site in Singapore
Bettors living in Singapore have to contend with harsh restrictions. As you choose a foreign betting provider, there are several factors you need to consider.
Check if the site has a good reputation. A good online betting operator should be licensed by a respectable authority, such as the UK Gaming Authority, and so on.
See to it that the site you are interested in accepts Singaporeans. Aside from that, it should provide a safe, convenient, and friendly deposit and withdrawal gateways.
An excellent foreign betting site should have reliable customer service. It should provide numerous communication channels to reach it’s customer support agents. These can include email, live chats, and phone calls.
Ensure that the site you prefer offers a wide range of sports betting markets as well as casino games. This should be coupled with multiple wagering options.
An online gambling operator with on-going bonuses as well as promotions is desirable. But you have to confirm that Singaporeans can fully participate and benefit from these promotions.
Best betting sites in Singapore
Our favourite picks;
1xBet ranks among the best betting sites in Singapore. Besides taking on Singaporean punters, this platform offers incredible features such as a mobile betting application and a massive selection of sports betting markets, including horse racing, football among others.
Signing-up with 1xBet is a straightforward process. On top of that, it provides convenient payment options that are ideal for Singaporeans.
22Bet is yet another incredible online betting site in Singapore with a broad betting market, which includes horse racing, cricket, football, and much more. It offers a 100% sign up bonus to new customers. If you are an in-play betting enthusiast, this betting website is perfect for you.
Most importantly, this site provides 24/7 customer service, which means that you can contact them whenever you want and they will address your issues promptly.
Other betting sites to consider
Bet365 is a legitimate online betting platform that accepts Singaporean players. It has been operational for over 3 decades and has earned an excellent reputation for its wide selections of sports betting markets and casino games.
William Hill is a renowned online gambling site that appeals to punters in most parts of the world, including Singapore. It stands out for its stellar bookmaking services.
The operator offers all types of betting and regular promotions. The best part is that it’s banking options are friendly and convenient for online gamblers in Singapore
LeoVegas is an online sportsbook and casino that offers an incredible betting opportunity in Singapore. This operator offers generous bonuses to Singaporean players. It is well-organised and easy to use. And it is home to popular sports markets and competitive odds.
Popular betting payment methods in Singapore
When looking for an online casino in Singapore, you must check the payment systems it provides, and ensure that they are safe and reliable. Here are some of the most popular deposit and withdrawal methods for punters in Singapore.
Skrill is arguably one of the best payment methods for gamblers across the globe. Singaporeans can register with Skrill easily. Punters can transact in either USD or SGD on Skrill. You may have to use a credit card or bank transfer to fund your Skrill account. Once you do that, moving the funds to a betting site is super easy. Most importantly, Skrill is an extremely safe money transfer platform.
Like Skrill, Neteller is another excellent e-wallet that allows Singaporean gamblers to deposit and withdraw funds conveniently. The process of opening a Neteller account is straightforward. But you have to use another e-wallet, credit card, or bank transfer to fund your Neteller account. When that’s done, you can move the money to a betting site that supports it without any qualms.
Sticpay is a convenient payment option for gamblers in Singapore. This payment service has become popular among foreign companies offering betting services in Singapore. Part of the reason behind this is that it is a London based e-wallet and it is cost-efficient.
Credit cards offer the much-needed flexibility for punters in Singapore. Almost all online betting websites accept payments made through MasterCard and Visa cards. Moreover, most banks issue these cards and punters can easily access them.
Trustly is another great payment option that is available for punters in Singapore. So long as the betting website supports it, you don’t need to register. Punters are only required to fill an e-form when depositing funds in their betting accounts. However, before using it, you need to check whether your bank allows it.
Despite the few legal restrictions, the gambling industry in Singapore is booming. As a gambler, you have more than enough choices in terms of betting platforms. You can either rely on Singaporean pools or bet on foreign providers.