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Online betting to become legal in Singapore

Singapore residents may be able to gamble online legally by the end of October, the Straits Times has reported. 19 Sep 2016

Singapore-based lottery operators Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club are preparing online services in anticipation of approval from Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), sources have told the Straits Times.

Both lottery owners are believed to be running final tests and preparing information for staff and customers in expectation of being exempted from the Remote Gambling Act, the Straits Times said.

Operators expect to be able to take live bets online, as well as running lotteries and games, although betting amounts will be limited, the newspaper said.

The Singapore parliament passed the Remote Gambling Act two years ago, banning online and phone gambling. Companies that organise, manage or supervise remote gambling services and make them available to Singapore consumers face fines of up to S$500,000 (£281,000).

However, the Act allows operators to be exempt if they are not-for-profit and contribute to public, social and charitable causes in Singapore.

Both STC and Singapore Pools meet these criteria, the Straits Times said. They are not-for-profit organisations operated by the Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board), a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance.

The MHA would not comment beyond saying it is evaluating applications from the two bodies, the Straits Times said.

The MHA gave guidance in 2015 on games that would not be affected by the law.