Singaporeans may finally have an option to legally bet online through online betting services operated by Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club.
The move is aimed at curbing illegal gambling on unauthorised websites in the country.
The Straits Times reported earlier today that Singapore Pools and STC were preparing to launch their online betting services as soon as they receive approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
While details have not been confirmed, it is expected that all lotteries and games, except the Big Sweep, will be available online. This includes betting on football as well as 4D and Toto.
ST added that the lottery operators are currently running final tests on their platforms and are expecting to be exempted from the Remote Gambling Act by the end of September.
The Remote Gambling Act was passed two years ago in Parliament, a move which outlawed online and phone gambling, blocking hundreds of international gambling sites.
Then Second Minister for Home Affairs Mr S. Iswaran stated however that a blanket ban could push gambling activities underground.
Furthermore, both Singapore Pools and STC are operated by the Singapore Tote Board, under the Ministry of Finance. Their profits are used to fund charitable and social causes, which makes them the likeliest of candidates to receive an exception to the Remote Gambling Act.
Singaporeans and MPs alike have mixed feelings however, with many concerned that the move encourages more gambling activity amongst the youth.
Others added that there could be dangers of debt issues, which could lead to further problems such as theft.
On the flipside, frequent gamblers are concerned over the user interface and experience, noting that it should be smooth and hassle-free.
More updates to come over the next couple of weeks.