Yes. Even if they operate purely online and outside Singapore, entities conducting prize promotions with a Singapore-customer link and which qualify as a 'remote gambling service' must comply with the provisions of the RGA.
For the purposes of the RGA, a remote gambling service has a Singapore-customer link if any of the customers are physically present in Singapore.
'Remote gambling service' under the RGA is defined broadly to cover services including the following:
- Conducting a public lottery;
- Supply of any public lottery tickets;
- Negotiating, placing, making, receiving or accepting of bets; or
- A game of chance where the game is played for money or money's worth (as defined below), and a customer of the service agrees to give money or money's worth (as defined below) to play or enter the game.
where such services are provided via the use of remote communication, such as the internet, telephone, television, radio or any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication.
For the purposes of the RGA, 'public lottery' means any game, method, device, scheme or competition whereby money or money’s worth (as defined below) is distributed or allotted in any manner depending upon or to be determined by chance or lot, and to which the public have access or may have access to (regardless of whether it is held, drawn, exercised or managed within or outside Singapore). Every lottery is treated as a public lottery until the contrary is proved, and a 'game of chance' includes a game that involves both an element of chance and an element of skill, or a game that is presented as involving an element of chance.
For the purposes of the RGA, 'money's worth' means anything recognized as equivalent to money and includes virtual credits, virtual coins, virtual tokens, virtual objects or any similar thing that is purchased within or as part of, or in relation to a game of chance.
Publishing a remote gambling advertisement and promoting remote gambling are also offences within the RGA. The provisions of the RGA are broadly drafted and the offence of advertising remote gambling includes the publishing of any writing or visual image that promotes a domain name or uniform resource locator (URL) relating to a particular remote gambling service. A person may be considered to have published a remote gambling service advertisement if the person includes the advertisement, or something that contains the advertisement, online or in any way that renders the advertisement accessible from the Internet.
Enforcement of the RGA works in two main ways. Firstly, the Singapore Police Force collaborate with its foreign counterparts to provide and share evidence of unlawful remote gambling activities, with a view to prosecuting the offenders. This includes the possibility of extradition to Singapore under applicable treaties and the arrest and possible subsequent imprisonment of the offenders if they are found guilty. Secondly, the Singapore Police Force will take into account any complaints or feedback received from the public. For more information on enforcement please refer to the section on Penalties.
Websites that provide unauthorized remote gambling services which are or may be used by individuals in Singapore to gamble, or contain a remote gambling service advertisement, will be blocked. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) can also block financial transactions or payments made in relation to participation in any unlawful remote gambling activity.
Last modified 21 Jan 2019