Singapore Passes Anti-Gambling Bill

Singapore's anti-gambling bill passes. Game developers still lose.

The Parliament of Singapore has passed the Remote Gambling Bill that has previously been mentioned as a bill that it is so broad, that it could affect the F2P market in the country. 

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S. Iswaran, the Second Minister of Home Affairs, remarked that the bill would not affect video games so long as players are not able to convert in-game currency into money or merchandise. For many games, they will be safe for now, however, there are other games that still would not be allowed to operate in Singapore without a gambling license.

Games in Asia reports that Loco Soccer, an indie title from Taiwan, has a “Play for Cash” mode, where players are able to pay an entry fee for a chance to win a portion of the pot. On the same note, game portals such as King’s Royalgames.com and GSN’s worldwinner.com would also run into trouble, due to having similar entry fee and payout structures.

While officials may allay fears of game developers by stating that they would not be affected by this law, it is not exactly clear whether this sentiment would change in the future, nor is it very clear in the wording of the bill. If anything, it would most likely discourage game developers and publishers from setting up shop in the country, in fear of getting raided for being “reasonably suspected” of violating the law.


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mchiu
mchiu is an old-timer, falling in love with video games since the introduction of Pong. Nowadays, his passions in gaming center around social and political issues, game development, promotion of games as an art form, promotion of games as sport, and the business and economics of games.