A parliamentary question was recently tabled by Marine Parade GRC Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng, who asked about the need for additional measures to curb gambling addiction, given that there is an increase in spending on sports and lottery bets by Singapore Pools. The reply was from Mr Chua Yong Siang, Minister for Home Affairs, who said:
He added that the ministry works closely with the police to monitor and respond to reports of problem gambling, and will continue to encourage individuals to be responsible with their betting habits. Mr Chua also advised that if a person is prone to gambling addictive behaviour, family members can apply for a family exclusion order through Singapore Pools to suspend the individual’s online betting account.
The ministry also urged people to be wary of unsolicited messages on WhatsApp or other social media platforms that promise big financial windfalls, and ask for money transfers. As at end-May 2023, 55 people have lost over SG$507,000 in this type of scam.
Singapore Pools is a state-owned lottery operator in Singapore, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tote Board, a statutory body under the Ministry of Finance. It runs both the lottery and sports betting businesses in the country. The former comprises 4-D, Toto and Singapore Sweep, while the latter covers association football and motor racing bets.
In addition to a variety of betting options, Singapore Pools also offers e-sports and virtual games. In fact, the company’s E-sports division has become a key revenue driver and is now a major business unit.