Singapore has officially formed and inaugurated its new Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), which will replace the old Casino Regulatory Authority.
The new regulator will now have authority over a variety of gambling services on the island, including lotteries, casinos, sports betting, and loot boxes in online video games.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, where Second Minister for Home Affairs, Josephine Teo, discussed the changing future of Singapore’s gambling industry – the foundation for the new regulator taking control – saying: “There are more and more variants of gaming, gambling, and games of chance, such as those involving cryptocurrencies or using crypto technology.”
Teo also discussed the first challenges the regulator will face in the future, stating that it will focus on streamlining the license approval process in order for Singapore to approve more licenses in the future.
Furthermore, as part of its mandate, it will revise the Casino Control Act in order to broaden the regulatory regime. Singapore currently has two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa, but that appears to be changing under the new system.
Another priority for the new regulator is to ensure that stronger regulation is put in place to address the risks posed by online gambling, with a new requirement for loot/mystery boxes to be limited to SG$100 (US$73) already looking likely to be implemented early next year.
According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, “the cap will prevent the inducement effect of high-value items and the normalization of gambling among youth.”