Members of public advised against unlawful gambling this World Cup season; may face fines, imprisonment
Public education efforts about the dangers of illegal and excessive betting will be strengthened through two campaigns launched by MHA and MSF.
With the World Cup season fast approaching, football fans are advised against unlawful and excessive gambling activities by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
In an advisory released on Thursday (Nov 17), the ministries said they will step up efforts to take action against those who flout the law. They will also strengthen public education efforts on unlawful and problem gambling.
Individuals are urged to exercise personal responsibility, and family members and the community should also “encourage those with gambling problems to seek help”, the advisory added.
To warn the public about the dangers of excessive football betting and betting with illegal operators, two campaigns from the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) will launch during World Cup 2022.
The minute-long campaign video created by NCPG depicts a football enthusiast’s euphoric experience of winning his bets, and slowly progresses to him losing money and damaging his personal relationships due to his obsession with football betting.
It will be screened before and during football matches on television.
Advertisements for NCPG’s campaign will also be shared on the radio, HDB lift panels, newspapers, bus-stop shelters and social media platforms.
NCPC’s campaign consists of television advertisement placements, digital banners, social media posts and wobblers of a specially designed campaign poster about the consequences of illegal betting.
Balloon clappers and hand fans with messages against unlawful gambling will also be distributed at public venues showing live telecasts of the World Cup matches.
As part of MHA’s effort to combat unlawful remote gambling, the Gambling Regulatory Authority has blocked about 1,200 remote gambling websites, 250 bank accounts and more than $33 million payments linked to such services to-date.
The Gambling Control Act (GCA) took effect on Aug 1 this year, prohibiting all gambling activities in Singapore unless licensed, class licensed or exempted.
Under the GCA, anyone who takes part in unlawful gambling can be fined up to $500,000 and jailed up to seven years, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $700,000 and imprisoned up to 10 years.