SINGAPORE: Muslims in Singapore were reminded on Friday (Oct 14) that online gambling is an "extremely worrying trend" and that it has the potential to not only affect the individual involved, but also the entire family and community.
In its Friday sermon, the Office of the Mufti said that when a person becomes addicted to online gambling, they are "more prone to lose control of themselves and spiral into lawlessness", which is why Islam firmly prohibits gambling.
It also noted that gambling will not only cause the person to be heavily in debt, but also break familial ties. "Many gamblers have ended up being declared as bankrupts, adversely affecting the future of their children, and crushing the hopes and dreams that they used to share as a family," it said.
As for those who argue that gambling is not a problem as long as it is not a habit or done through social media, the Office of the Mufti said its research showed that those who became addicted to gambling began as "social gamblers".
As such, it called on followers to make sure they and their families are recorded on the list of those not permitted to take part in any licensed gambling activities. They should also monitor the websites that are visited by family members to ensure their actions are aligned to the Islamic teachings and values, the Office of the Mufti said.
The exhortation comes after the Catholic Church urged the Government to continually review measures to minimise the ill effects of online gambling. The National Council of Churches also said it was "deeply concerned" about the legalisation of online gambling and appealed to authorities to review the plans.
Singapore authorities had given the greenlight for Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club to offer such services as soon as next month.