You may assume that Singapore would be the ideal location to play more than a few games of poker given that it is home to two of the most renowned casinos in the world, the Marina Bay Sands and the Resorts World Sentosa.
It is true that Singaporeans are among the largest gamblers in the world, according to some reports.
But as you’ll learn from this essay, it’s not as simple as you might have expected to play poker in an autonomous country state.
Gambling has long been a part of Singaporean society, as it is in most Asian nations. In the past, cockfight betting has been the most popular type of gambling in the nation, especially among Malays.
However, after Singapore earned its independence in 1959, the government cracked down on such events, and now there are very few examples of the past-time.
Different kinds of card games have historically been more intimately linked to the local Chinese population. During the time of British colonial control, games with European roots were added to traditional favorites including Pai Gow, Tai Sai, and Mahjong.
Gambling is still legal in Singapore today, but it is highly controlled. Despite having two casinos with legal licenses, Singapore is not particularly known as a poker hotspot in Southeast Asia.
Does Singapore allow poker?
The gist of it is that while online poker clubs are prohibited in Singapore, live poker is not.
The Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are two of the largest casinos in the nation. The Casino Control Act was passed in 2006 with the intent of promoting tourism and generating money. Both of these establishments received ten-year permits to operate in Singapore.
The advent of these two casinos had minimal impact on Singapore’s popularity of poker. Singaporeans have to pay a fee of 100SGD to enter the casino, even though foreigners were allowed to do so without restriction.
In Singapore, online gambling was outlawed in 2014 as a result of the Remote Gambling Act. Penalties for violations were fairly severe: players may be fined up to SG$5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months, while operators who accepted Singaporean players could be fined up to SG$20,000 to SG$500,000 and/or imprisoned for up to seven years. In 2016, the government did permit the operation of two internet casinos serving the neighborhood: Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club.
As long as no money is exchanged, playing poker at home is acceptable. Players who are detected playing in cash games will be fined $1,000 SGD. Those who host such activities risk an SG$20,000 fine or a two-month prison sentence.
Singapore Laws and Regulations
The Casino Control Act is the main piece of legislation in Singapore governing the gambling sector. The act, which was passed in 2006, was primarily designed to support regional tourism and raise tax receipts.
Additionally, the law allowed for the operation of two casinos throughout the nation, each of which received a 10-year license.
Poker and all other forms of online gambling were effectively outlawed by the Remote Gambling Act of 2014, which was passed in February 2015. Offenders run the danger of receiving a $5,000 fine or a six-month jail term.
Operators of internet casinos and card rooms are subject to much harsher punishments, including fines ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 and/or prison terms of up to seven years.
Singapore’s Poker Regulatory Body
The following organizations are in charge of policing the gambling sector in Singapore:
The Casino Control Act must be administered and enforced by the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA).
Additionally, the CRA is in charge of issuing licenses and overseeing land-based casino operations.
The Remote Gambling Act’s provisions are to be implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Media Development Authority (MDA), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). They are in charge of preventing site access and payments in particular.
Age Limit For Gambling In Singapore
Casinos and card rooms in Singapore are only open to those who are at least 21 years old.
Frequently Played Poker Tournaments in Singapore
The Resorts World Sentosa hosts tournaments on occasion. The casino offers a live poker area with seven Texas Hold’em-specific tables. Although there are poker tables at Marina Bay Sands, most games pit players against the house rather than other players.
The Singapore Poker Championships (SPC), which were also hosted in Singapore, were played aboard the MV Aegean Paradise, a deluxe cruise ship. The SPC, which is a part of the Leisure World Poker Series, continues the LWPS’ tradition of being the only regionally competitive poker event. The series also features Sit N Go tournaments and Texas Hold’em cash games in addition to the main tournament.
Online poker tournament choices include GG Club Poker, one of the network’s major sites, and Natural8, an Asian skin on the Good Game Network.
Options for Banking for Singapore Players
Due to restrictions imposed by the government, the majority of online gambling establishments do not accept credit cards and debit cards from Singaporean banks. Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club are the outliers. As a result, the following are your options for funding your casino accounts and for withdrawing funds:
- Bank wire transfer
Currencies Accepted In Singapore Poker Rooms
The Singapore dollar is the country’s legal tender. In all casinos and card rooms across the state, this is commonly accepted. Many businesses also accept British pounds and US currencies.
Although there aren’t many places to play poker in Singapore, there are still a few places where you may enjoy your favorite game. There are occasionally cash-paying competitions and events hosted in the nation that are sponsored by international organizations, in addition to the two casinos that have received government approval: Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
Additionally, there is the choice to participate in smaller competitions held across the nation and in online poker clubs, however, these are subject to a lot of limitations. Even so, if you intend to visit Singapore, you can probably anticipate being able to play at least some poker there.