Casino Control Act



The Casino Control Act was enacted in 2006 to regulate the operations and gaming in casinos in preparation for the opening of the Integrated Resorts (IRs). It establishes and makes provision for the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) to administer and enforce the Act, and empowers the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to issue casino exclusion orders. Social safeguards such as the levy of entry fees at S$100 for every 24 hours and S$2,000 annual membership on Singapore citizens and permanent residents are provided for in the Act.1

History
Gambling in Singapore has been by and large illegal apart from a few authorised activities managed by the Singapore Turf Club and Singapore Pools. There are four statutes in Singapore that govern gaming: Common Gaming Houses Act (Cap. 49),2 the Betting Act (Cap. 21),3 the Private Lotteries Act (Cap. 250),4 and the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act (Cap. 22).5 Broadly, these Acts prohibit gaming activities, betting and lotteries in common gaming houses or public lotteries, unless exemptions were given or permits had been sought. For many years, the government resisted calls to set up casinos in Singapore.

On 18 April 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the Cabinet’s decision to develop two IRs at Marina Bayfront and Sentosa. Besides casinos, these IRs would also have hotels, shopping malls, convention spaces and other amenities. In his speech, PM Lee explained the government’s long standing policy with regard to casinos had changed due to concern over losing competitiveness in the economy and in areas such as tourism to other cosmopolitan cities.6

A national framework was then put in place with measures to address problems that could arise from gambling. These included a new regulatory agency – the CRA – to regulate the casinos, a new legislative measure in the form of the Casino Control Act, and setting up a national council to address problem gambling and provide access to professional medical treatment for gambling addiction.7

The Casino Control Bill was first tabled at Parliament on 16 January 2006 by then Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng and passed by Parliament on 14 February 2006.  It authorised the award of a maximum of two casino licenses for a period of 10 years commencing from the date when a second site for a casino was designated. The two IRs were subsequently awarded to Las Vegas Sands Corporation (Marina Bayfront) and Genting-Star Cruises Consortium (Sentosa). The second IR on Sentosa was awarded on 8 December 2006.8

Description
The Casino Control Act (Cap. 33A) was crafted to “make provision for the operation and regulation of casinos and gaming in casinos; to establish the CRA, [and] to provide for its functions and powers...”. It draws reference from similar statutes from other countries such as the Casino Control Act 1991 (Australia, Victoria),9 Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Australian, Victoria),10 Casino Control Act 1992 (Australia, New South Wales),11 Nevada Gambling Control Act (United States, Nevada)12 and Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004 (Australia, South Australia).13


The objectives of the Act can be broadly categorised into three areas. Firstly, it establishes the incorporation of the CRA, which is supervised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Act empowers the CRA to license and regulate the operations of casinos, to approve any system of controls and administration of the casinos, and to investigate offences committed in casinos in Singapore.14

Secondly, the Act sets out a regulatory regime for the casino operator and related business parties. It sets controls on the licensing of casino operators and requires the operators to seek approval for its system of internal controls, administrative and accounting procedures.15

Lastly, the Act provides social safeguards to counter the issue of problem gambling:
(1) Entry fees will be levied on Singapore citizens and permanent residents at $100 for every 24 hours in the casinos and $2,000 annual membership. 
(2) Persons below the age of 21 years are prohibited from entering the casinos.
(3) Casino and junket operators are prohibited from extending credit to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, unless they are premium players as defined in the Act. 
(4) Automated teller machines (ATMs) will be prohibited within the casinos. 
(5) The establishment of the NCPG and empowerment given to the Council to issue exclusion orders to stop problem gamblers from entering the casinos.16

Changes proposed under the Casino Control (Amendment) Act 2009 concerned the collection of casino tax and implementation of social safeguards – specifically:
(1) New sub-section 146B to allow the Comptroller to administer the collection of taxes more efficiently.17
(2) For self and third-party exclusion orders, there is no longer a need for Committee of Assessors to convene and decide, and no need for hard copy notifications.18

Timeline
18 Apr 2005
: PM Lee announces the Singapore Government’s decision to proceed with the development of two Integrated Resorts (IR) with casinos.19

31 Aug 2005: Formation of National Council on Problem Gambling.20
17 Oct–11 Nov 2005: MHA puts up draft Casino Control Bill for public consultation.21
16 Jan 2006: First reading of the Casino Control Bill at Parliament.22
13 Feb 2006: Second reading of the Bill.23
14 Feb 2006: Parliament passes the Bill.24
1 Jun 2006: Date of commencement of Casino Control Act 2006 (section 2 only). See Subsidiary legislation S278/2006.25
8 Mar 2008: Revision of Act (Cap. 33A)(2007 revised edition).26
2 Apr 2008: Commencement of Sections 3 and 4, Sections 5 to 33 and 37 of Act, parts III to XIII and the schedule. See S176/2008.27
2 Apr 2008: Formation of the CRA.28
1 Jul 2008: Commencement of section 34 – 39 of Act. See S329/2008.29
12 Dec 2008: Problem Gambling – Exclusion Orders: Arrangement of Rules. See S623/2008.30
18 Aug 2009: First reading of the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill.31
9 Sep 2009: Subsidiary legislation on the Act regarding gaming equipment regulations and licensing of special employees enacted. See S414 – S415/2009.32
15 Sep 2009: Second and third reading of (Amendment) Bill and passing of Bill.33
23 Sep 2009: Subsidiary legislation on the Act regarding patron dispute resolution, surveillance, casino layout and casino licenses and fees enacted. See S429 – S432/2009.34
15 Oct 2009: Casino Control (Amendment) Act 2009 published.35



Author

Lim Puay Ling




References
1. Ministry of trade & Industry. (2006, February 13). The Casino Control Bill 2006, 2nd Reading Speech by DPM and Minister for Home Affairs, Wong Kan Seng, Parliament Sitting. [Speech]. Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Ministry of trade & Industry website: https://www.mti.gov.sg/MTIInsights/Documents/Minister%20Wong%20Kan%20Seng-2nd%20reading%20speech-13Feb2006.pdf
2. Singapore. The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. (1985 Rev. ed.). Common Gaming Houses Act (Chapter 49). Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Ac9ac83f9-96e2-4802-8158-ea8a28dee9b9%20ValidTime%3A20160923000000%20TransactionTime%3A20160923000000;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DactsCur
3. Singapore. The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. (2011 Rev. ed.). Betting Act (Chapter 21). Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Ab5adba80-928a-40ce-a4f4-f71009923140%20ValidTime%3A20160923000000%20TransactionTime%3A20160923000000;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DB%3Btype%3DactsCur
4. Singapore. The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. (2012 Rev. ed.). Private Lotteries Act (Chapter 250). Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A2a889a28-6681-4b16-b6a9-c0bea8bfa0d2%20ValidTime%3A20160923000000%20TransactionTime%3A20160923000000;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DP%3BpNum%3D1%3Btype%3DactsCur
5. Singapore. The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. (2012 Rev. ed.). Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act (Chapter 22). Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A1c721835-6134-4224-99a4-fe7c483b6701%20ValidTime%3A20160923000000%20TransactionTime%3A20160923000000;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DB%3BpNum%3D1%3Btype%3DactsCur
6. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, April 18). Ministerial Statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 18 Apr 2005: PROPOSAL TO DEVELOP INTEGRATED RESORTS [Press Release]. Retrieved from National Archives Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
7. Casino Regulatory Authority. (2014, August 13). MISSION, VISION AND VALUES. Retrieved 2016, June 21 from CRA website: http://www.cra.gov.sg/cra/mission-vision-and-values.aspx/75
8. Ministry of trade & Industry. (2006, February 13). The Casino Control Bill 2006, 2nd Reading Speech by DPM and Minister for Home Affairs, Wong Kan Seng, Parliament Sitting. [Speech]. Retrieved 2016, June 21 from Ministry of trade & Industry website: https://www.mti.gov.sg/MTIInsights/Documents/Minister%20Wong%20Kan%20Seng-2nd%20reading%20speech-13Feb2006.pdf
9. Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents. (2010, September 15). Casino Control Act 1991(No. 47 of 1991). Retrieved on 2016, June 6 from Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/web_notes/ldms/ltobject_store/ltobjst5.nsf/0255aeb8c1f42794ca25776700234d2b/eec04073cc66b63bca25779e001edb4b/$FILE/91-47a079.pdf
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12. Nevada Gaming Control Board. Gaming Commission. Retrieved on 2016, June 22 from Nevada Gaming Control Board website: http://gaming.nv.gov/index.aspx?page=3
13. South Australian Legislation. (2007, June 1). South Australia Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004. Retrieved on 2016, June 22 from South Australian Legislation website: https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/PROBLEM%20GAMBLING%20FAMILY%20PROTECTION%20ORDERS%20ACT%202004.aspx
14. Boo. K. (2006, February 14). Casino based on best practices overseas. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Statutory board for regulating casinos starts work. (2008, April 2). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Chuang, P.M. (2006, February 14). Govt to relax controls on casino operators. The Business Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Acts supplement. (2009). Casino Control (Amendment) Act 2009 (No. 22 of 2009, section 146B). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Ae78893b5-47b6-4d48-a30a-7291c291fdb7;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DactsPub
18. Lim, W.C. (2009, September 16). Changes made to Casino Control Act. The Straits Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, April 18). Ministerial Statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 18 Apr 2005: PROPOSAL TO DEVELOP INTEGRATED RESORTS [Press Release]. Retrieved from National Archives Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
20. Govt names Problem Gambling council members. (2005, September 1). Today, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Ho. A. (2005, October 15). Govt welcomes your views on casino Bill. The Business Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Parliament of Singapore. (2006, January 16). First Reading of the Casino Control Bill (Vol 80). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00071206-ZZ&currentPubID=00075183-ZZ&topicKey=00075183-ZZ.00071206-ZZ_1%2B%2B#
23. Parliament of Singapore. (2006, February 13). Second Reading of the Casino Control Bill (Vol. 80). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00001740-WA&currentPubID=00004710-WA&topicKey=00004710-WA.00001740-WA_1%2B%2B
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25. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2006, June 1). Casino Control Act (Commencement of Section 2) Notification 2006 (S 278/2006). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A753e6965-246a-45fa-a2b8-b5cce5784b29;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FyearResults.w3p%3Btype%3DslGaz%3Byear%3D2006
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27. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2008, April 2). Casino Control Act (Commencement of Sections 3 and 4, Sections 5 to 33 and 37 of Act, parts III to XIII and the schedule) Notification 2008 (S 176/2008). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A1b4a97cb-e7e7-4788-9f09-5a09c67d7af3;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FyearResults.w3p%3Btype%3DslGaz%3Byear%3D2008
28. Statutory board for regulating casinos starts work. (2008, April 2). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
29. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2008, July 1). Casino Control Act (Commencement of sections 34–39) (No. 2) Notification 2008 (S 329/2008). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A9b4e661f-a420-4970-b87f-c20db32920ea;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FyearResults.w3p%3Btype%3DslGaz%3Byear%3D2008
30. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2008, December 12). Casino Control (Problem Gambling – Exclusion Orders) Rules 2008 (S 623/2008). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A88c8d08c-17b0-4a14-a4ef-9681a06c5fe1;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FyearResults.w3p%3Btype%3DslGaz%3Byear%3D2008
31. Parliament of Singapore. (2009, August 18). First Reading of the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill (Vol 86). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00003520-WA&currentPubID=00004791-WA&topicKey=00004791-WA.00003520-WA_1%2B%2B
32. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 9). Casino Control (Gaming Equipment) Regulations 2009 (S 414/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A688e6641-7372-4486-aa0b-104fde7665d1;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DslPub; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 9). Casino Control (Licensing of Special Employees) Regulations 2009 (S 415/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A756792df-047a-4a21-add5-e008b532401b;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DslPub
33. Parliament of Singapore. (2009, September 15). Second and Third Reading of the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill (Vol 86). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00003565-WA&currentPubID=00004792-WA&topicKey=00004792-WA.00003565-WA_1%2B%2B
34. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 23). Casino Control (Casino Licence and Fees) Regulations 2009 (S 429/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Afea0504b-7261-482f-8973-bc0548f0443f;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FyearResults.w3p%3Btype%3DslGaz%3Byear%3D2009; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 23). Casino Control (Casion Layout) Regulations 2009 (S 430/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A172a9a0b-bb7a-4f79-93c7-283fa7542acf;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DslPub; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 23). Casino Control (Surveillance) Regulations 2009 (S 431/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A86b3b508-1891-46ae-b6d4-3726b1404e46;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DslPub; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, September 23). Casino Control (Patron Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2009 (S 432/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Ad6b11615-51ae-4d0d-aa4b-059c03b6edb0;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DC%3Btype%3DslPub
35. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2009, October 15). Casino Control (Amendment) Act (Commencement) Notification 2009 (S 500/2009). Retrieved 2016, August 31 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;query=Status%3Acurinforce%20Type%3Aact,sl%20Content%3A%22Casino%22%20Content%3A%22Control%22%20Content%3A%22Amendment%22%20Content%3A%22Act%22%20Content%3A%222009%22;rec=2;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fsearch%2Fsummary%2Fresults.w3p%3Bquery%3DStatus%253Acurinforce%2520Type%253Aact,sl%2520Content%253A%2522Casino%2522%2520Content%253A%2522Control%2522%2520Content%253A%2522Amendment%2522%2520Content%253A%2522Act%2522%2520Content%253A%25222009%2522;whole=no



Further resources
Boo, K., Pereira, M. (2005, September 28). Bill on casino regulation likely to be ready next year. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Lee, H. S. (1998, September 8). Take a bet – how about a casino or two in S’pore? The Business Times, p. 6.  Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Lee, H.S. (1999, June 22). Shouldn’t S’pore take a gamble? The Business Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Lim, W. C. (2009, September 16). Changes made to Casino Control Act. The Straits Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Ng, A. (2009, September 16). Novel suggestions for exclusion orders. Today, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Pereira, M. L. (2007, February 28). Casino licence for Genting not a given, ministry says. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Casinos--Law and legislation--Singapore
Politics and Government>>Law
Law
Law and government>>Regulatory role>>Gambling