Technology has an immense role in gambling practices and continues to depict the rise of new market opportunities. One of the achievements that technology brought in regards to gambling, is the online betting. Online betting is the act of using established internet sites for gambling money in unpredictable events such as sports, and any other events (Gainsbury and Blaszczynski, 2014). This paper focuses on the issue of online betting in Singapore. The paper puts into light the importance and also drawbacks of the Singapore government allowing online betting.
Everyone has an opinion about gambling, because it is one of an unavoidable things in life. For the Singapore government, it is clear that they have softened their stand on having strict laws that do not allow betting. The Singapore government recently approved the application of two lottery operators, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club to have an array of online gambling activities (Kotwani and Chia, 2017). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has however, reiterated that the betting firms should only allow individuals who are twenty-one years and above to participate in online betting. It is an open secret that the current twenty-first-century generation has a high appetite for betting and it is likely that the Singapore government will soften their strict regulation regarding online betting in the near future.
The unprecedented move by the Singapore government to allow the two lottery firms, Singapore Pools, and Singapore Turf Club to conduct online betting so that Singaporeans can enjoy online betting services, comes as a result of the strong sentiments by the high moral standards of Singapore society. Anything to do with gambling has always been associated with the vices in society. Addiction is the most prevalent social vices associated with betting. According to Morrison, (2008) out of ten people who are gamblers, only one of them is not addicted. This implies by the Singapore government allowing online betting operation by the two lottery firms, many people are likely to be rendered addicts.
Gambling has grave effects on families regarding money issues. With the advent of online betting, it is easy for an individual to conduct an online transaction to fulfill betting desires. It is evident that most people have lost savings property and also belongings as a result of gambling. By allowing online betting, young males and females are likely to become good for nothing if they fall prey to betting. Allowing online betting in Singapore means that physical and mental health is likely to be prevalent. Anxiety, depression, stress and poor sleep is likely to be common especially when one’s bets deviate and fails to win (Ho?rnle and Zammit, 2010). For a parent who indulges in online betting, it means that the children will stand forgotten and depressed. This can inhibit the proper growth of children, for instance, children may react to a parent's gambling problem by misbehaving.
The advent of allowing regulation of online betting in Singapore means the economy is about to be on the rise. It is significant to note that illegal betting has grave effects on the economy. But for the regulated online betting like Singapore’s means a rise of an economy. The two betting firms will create employment opportunities to have people work in their firms. Besides, the government can get a direct benefit from the online betting through penalties and taxes (Horridge, 2017). The fact that many people over the age of twenty-one will be eligible for online betting, means that more individuals will engage in income generating activities thus reducing the dependency ratio.
Online gambling makes gambling regulation to be easy. In agreement with the Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee, having an online control betting is similar to the way other countries control the use of alcohol and cigarettes. He at one time asserted that online betting has little health disadvantages and they are good for people to get quick money. Online betting unlike any other vices, channels individuals who are a focus in income generation but not crime due to drug abuse.
The Singapore government decision to legalize gambling is the fact that it has embraced reality. The reality is that there are some Singaporeans who initially indulge themselves in the worldwide online betting illegally and it is better to provide a safer environment for people to conduct themselves in (Libraryindex.com, 2017). The advent of advanced technology and bright individuals means that there are a lot of individuals who will trickle in to participate in online gambling. When there is a regulation for Singaporeans to perform this money making task, then it would not be a vice.
Despite the Singapore government having allowed and regulated the online betting activity also means that money laundering activities is eased. Money laundering is the act of passing money through third parties so as to make the sources of illegal money unknown. In this case, money launders are likely to deposit a large amount of money into online betting sites and withdraw it later with legitimate bank accounts.
Criminal cyber activities become eminent through online betting. Established online betting sites in other countries have expressed their fears of cyber criminals. It has been reported on several occasions that these cunning individuals can access online betting customers’ financial credit cards and steal money from them (Chambliss, 2011). What should worry most about Singapore is the likelihood that the hackers will not only focus on the two betting sites once they set their eyes on Singapore. The hackers might extend to the government’s online platforms hence compromising government security.
Any economic activity such as betting is supposed to generate revenue for the government. However, online betting is advantageous to the customers of the betting company. They get money which is unregulated and untaxed, an act which is wrong. Singapore like any other government, will face the problem where people have money which is not taxed and not regulated (Williams, 2012).
In conclusion, online betting is the most prevalent form betting that is worldwide thus making it hard for betting phobic countries such as Singapore to ignore. It is important to realize that as much as online betting has a great economic impact on a country, it also encourages money laundering and cyber-crime. To have moderated online betting activities, Singapore should not loosen its strict laws it has in place for online betting.
Chambliss, W. (2011). Crime and Criminal Behavior. 1st ed. Sage, p.106.
Gainsbury, S. and Blaszczynski, A. (2014). Exploring internet gambling. 1st ed. London: Routledge, p.66.
Ho?rnle, J. and Zammit, B. (2010). Cross-border online gambling law and policy. 1st ed. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, p.167.
Horridge, K. (2017). Benefits of Legalized Gambling; The Economic To The Social. [online] Casino.org Blog. Available at: https://www.casino.org/blog/gambling-and-the-law-the- good-the-bad-and-the-ridiculous/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].
Libraryindex.com. (2017). Internet Gambling - The Effects Of Online Gambling. [online] Available at: https://www.libraryindex.com/pages/1620/Internet-Gambling-EFFECTS- ONLINE-GAMBLING.html [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].
Kotwani, M. and Chia, L. (2017). Government exempts Singapore Pools, Turf Club from online gambling ban. [online] Channel NewsAsia. Available at: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/government-exempts-singapore-pools- turf-club-from-online/3162930.html [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].
Morrison, J. (2008). International Business: Challenges in a Changing World. 1st ed. Palgrave Macmillan, p.172.
Williams, R. (2012). Routledge international handbook of internet gambling. 1st ed. New York, NY: Routledge, p.357.
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