Josephine Teo, Singapore’s second minister for Manpower and Home Affairs, said there needs to be greater consolidation of casino regulatory functions in the city-state, according to local media reports quoting the official.
Currently, Singapore has different regulations and agencies governing different gambling segments, such as casinos, remote gambling and slot machines operated by private clubs.
“This piecemeal approach will not be sustainable or adequate to deal with the growing complexities of the gambling landscape and products,” said Ms Teo as quoted by the city-state’s Straits Times newspaper. Her comments were made at the annual Workplan Seminar of the Casino Regulatory Authority on Friday.
Ms Teo highlighted some of the challenges facing Singapore’s casino industry, including increasing regional competition. “Competition for tourism revenues will get more intense,” she reportedly said. “Many jurisdictions are keenly studying our integrated resort (IR) concept. Our IRs will be anxious to stay ahead of the competition.”
Singapore is host to two casino properties: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Plc; and Marina Bay Sands (pictured), run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Japan is close to having a regulated casino industry. Japanese lawmakers of different parties have frequently referred to the “Singapore model” as the template for casino resort implementation and regulation in Japan, and some of the country’s officials have visited the city-state’s casinos.
Ms Teo said additionally that regulations need to evolve, to allow a more “holistic and coherent” system to maintain the balance between innovation and effective regulation.
The government official called on Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority to build up “stamina, capabilities, strategies and integrity” in adapting to new demands. “We must be smarter than those we are seeking to regulate,” the newspaper quoted Ms Teo as saying.
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