Singapore's Online Casino Industry: a Rapidly Growing Trend

The online gambling industry in Singapore is growing exponentially. Online casinos worldwide are popular because leading industry providers continuously develop unique, high-quality games for the player fraternity.

Merlion statue and cityscape in singapore.
Image by tawatchai07 on Freepik

With a high GDP, stable employment index, and impressive economic growth, Singapore has the potential to expand the online casino market. Today, you can easily find the best online casino Singapore sites to enjoy casino games, bet on horse racing, e-sports, and many other real sports events.

Let us discuss the latest developments in Singapore's online gambling sector and highlight the factors behind its substantial growth.

Historical Perspective of Gambling in Singapore

People gambled in Singapore right since the 19th Century. Immigration of different nationals during the colonial period introduced gambling to the country.

Games such as Fan Tan and Pai Gow Poker, which you may find even today in their contemporary versions at Singaporean online casinos, earmark their origin in the mid-19th century. However, gambling markets around this time weren’t regulated, and betting activities back then resulted in crimes and triggered addiction and debt traps for the players.

The government introduced the Betting Act in 1960 and the Common Gaming Houses Act in 1961 to provide a legal stance to gambling in Singapore.

As Singapore declared itself independent in 1965, the gambling market faced stricter laws.

Gambling was then restricted to a couple of government-run services, primarily Singapore Pools for lottery and horse race betting. In 2010, Singapore established its first legal, physical gambling space with Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, and gambling was not allowed in standalone buildings.

Currently, offline and online gambling is only legal in these formats with a license from the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA), which was recently established in August 2022, by passing the Gambling Control Act and the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Act.

Singapore's Online Casino Industry: Current State

The amendments in the gambling regulations rippled a positive wave of change in the casino industry.

Today, Singapore has established its niche in the international casino industry with its third largest market. Singapore’s casino market size holds 1.5% of the global market share, a value of $1.8 billion in 2021.

As reported by the National Council on Problem Gambling, in 2017, over 51% of the population participated in gambling. According to records, at least one wager was placed by people involved in gambling in some form. Post Covid, the online gambling market soared in Singapore; ever since, it has been witnessing a rising trend.

Online lottery, Bingo, Keno and sports betting have evolved as favourite gaming options among betting enthusiasts in Singapore.

While both men and women played online casinos, women displayed interest in slots, bingo and keno, while men frequently engaged in card games like poker and other table games.

Factors Contributing to the Growth

Here are some factors that may have influenced the surge of the Singaporean casino industry.

Diverse, Convenient And Alluring Gaming Options

Top-rated online casinos in Singapore are powered by crowned gaming software providers, ensuring better quality games and increased variety that cater to gaming preferences, making it more inclusive for every player. Moreover, these gambling sites make their offerings easily accessible to players on mobiles and tablets.

Advanced Technology

Technology plays a pivotal role in the current status of online casino industry in Singapore. The use of cutting-edge technology has reformed the traditional gambling experience for players.

Be it the high-quality audio-visuals or the intuitive interface, top Singapore casinos online create an engaging gaming experience for the players.

Games using Virtual and Augmented Reality create immersive and personalised experiences for the players. Moreover, live dealer games at Singapore casinos with interactive chat forums add much-needed social interaction to remote gaming.

Ease of Transactions And Enhanced Safety

Most Singapore casinos have gone a step ahead with convenient real-money betting transactions. In addition to reliable fiat transactions, most sites today accept bets with cryptocurrency. It helps players gamble with anonymity and offers enhanced security and faster transactions.

Moreover, Singapore casinos focus on adopting robust security measures, ensuring players a safe gambling ambience.

Like in any country, gambling in Singapore is also regulated through strict laws. Gambling services are prohibited if not licensed. In Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) regulates gambling operations with the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA).

All forms of online gaming, especially games of chance, public lotteries, and sports betting, are prohibited under the Gambling Control Act. Bingo, Fantasy Sports, poker, public lotteries, and all other forms of online gambling are considered games of chance under Singapore law and prohibited if played for money.

Singapore Pools is the sole gambling authorised operator that can offer legalised betting services online and offline, including horse betting, sports betting, and public lotteries.

Some other betting services, like fruit machines in physical rooms and private gambling, are allowed only with a license from GRA. Unlawful conduct is liable to hefty fines and imprisonment.

Economic Impact

Online gambling has contributed to Singapore’s economy in several ways, with international funds flowing into the country. Online casinos have been employing many Singaporeans as live dealers and support assistants, boosting employment in the country.

Moreover, the government earns a substantial amount of revenue from the taxes it imposes on both online casinos and players. In 2019, the gambling sector in Singapore contributed more than SGD 2.7 billion to its economy. Such taxes are a good source of income to fund various other developmental programs, including education, healthcare, social welfare activities, and small businesses.

Singapore’s integrated casino resorts have also contributed significantly to tourism. Recently, the Singapore Tourism Board extended support for various e-sports events and was actively involved in diversifying the country's gaming scene.

While Singapore’s economy has largely benefitted from the growing online casino market, it has some negative impacts. As it is seamlessly accessible, players tend to overindulge in gambling, risking their hard-earned money and spending hours gambling rather than contributing to their country’s GDP.

Social Implications

Online casino gambling in Singapore is great entertainment for gaming enthusiasts. Thousands of players indulge in various casino games from the comfort of their homes. Instead of heading to land casinos, players can unwind with friends and family online over demo or real-money games.

One of the downsides of the rise of online casinos in Singapore is the threat of gambling addiction. The ease of gaming from anywhere, anytime, has also led to people spending hours on their screens and risking vast amounts of money in anticipation of winning big.

However, online casinos promote responsible gaming practices to prevent problem gambling issues. Underage gambling by players below 21 is prohibited and punishable at casinos accepting Singaporeans.

Moreover, online gaming sites provide tools such as self-exclusion, deposit limits, and loss limits to prevent addictive gambling. Players can also seek help from recognised organisations such as the National Council of Problem Gambling that provide counselling and support services to individuals experiencing problem gambling.

Future Outlook

Online casinos have emerged as an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar gambling for thousands of casino enthusiasts in Singapore. The growing market indicates that online casinos will play a key role in the country’s entertainment industry while keeping players entertained and socially connected.

The future seems rewarding considering the current trends of online casinos in Singapore. The ongoing technological advancements, better accessibility, safety, and supportive regulatory developments signify a positive change in the gambling scenario.

Final Thoughts

Singapore has always been a gambling attraction with highly reputable land casinos and the online casino gambling stats follow similar trends. Today, players enjoy the benefits of gaming on the go at virtual casinos hosted by some of the best international gambling operators.

Undoubtedly, the quality and accessibility of games have improved, and more Singaporeans are enjoying online gambling today than ever.

High-quality gaming products with advanced animations, effects, and graphics, live gaming hosted from state-of-the-art studios, ease of casino transactions with popular e-wallets and cryptocurrencies, and enhanced privacy and safety are the primary reasons behind Singapore’s flourishing online gambling market today.