Singapore (AFP) – Singapore has begun blocking access to overseas gambling websites after legislation imposing a sweeping ban on remote betting went into effect, the government said Tuesday.
The Remote Gambling Act passed through parliament in October and took effect on Monday, giving the government broad powers to block access to overseas gambling portals as well as stop electronic payments to their operators.
A spokesman from the home affairs ministry told AFP that “several hundred remote gambling websites have been blocked”.
Popular gambling websites based abroad such as Paddy Powers, ibcbet.com and sbobet.com were not accessible on Tuesday afternoon from Singapore, one of Asia’s most wired states.
“Viewing and using this website at your current location is prohibited due to its regulatory rules,” said a message when ibcbet.com was accessed via a Singapore IP address.
Under the law, exemptions can be granted for locally based online gambling operators that follow strict rules and operate on a non-profit basis. Lottery operator Singapore Pools told local media it would apply for the exemption.
Singapore currently bans access to about 100 websites, mostly featuring pornographic, extremist and hateful content.
The new law will make it an offence, punishable by jail terms and fines, for people to place bets on overseas gambling websites from Singapore, while advertisements for them on online and offline platforms will also be outlawed.