SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will be working together to tackle illegal remote gambling and problem gambling during the 2018 World Cup, the authorities said in a joint-release on Thursday (Jun 14).
Both the MSF and MHA reminded that the Remote Gambling Act criminalises the "entire spectrum of illegal remote gambling - from operating, facilitating and promoting such activities to participating in them".
The Act also provides for a comprehensive blocking regime targeting websites that offer or promote illegal remote gambling, as well as electronic payments to operators.
Members of the public should not place bets with illegal remote gambling operators, the authorities said. Individuals who do so may face a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to six months, or both, under the Remote Gambling Act.
"Police will continue to take tough enforcement action against those who flout the law, including those who assist remote gambling syndicates in any way," added the authorities.
Between Jun 6 and Jun 13, the police have arrested two individuals suspected of being involved in providing illegal remote gambling services. Ten others suspected to have allowed their bank accounts and mobile lines to be used by illegal gambling websites are under investigation.
In March, the MHA blocked 80 illegal websites and six bank accounts used by illegal remote gambling operators. The authorities added that since February 2015, more than 800 websites, 200 bank accounts and S$7 million worth of transactions have been blocked.
"The Government will continue with our multi-pronged approach to combating illegal remote and terrestrial gambling. We will monitor the situation, and review our various strategies as and when necessary," said the authorities.
Individuals or family members who want to seek help can request for e-counselling via the National Problem Gambling Helpline 1800-6-668-668 or via webchat at www.ncpg.org.sg.