It is true: Asia is no stranger to the online sports betting phenomenon, but nobody would have imagined the levels of sports betting Singapore has come to know. If this introduction is news for you than you really need to keep reading. No matter if you’re interested in online sports betting or not, this article contains a lot of interesting facts and figures and you will learn the differences between European and Asian gambling.
Singapore’s 2014 Remote Gambling Act
The government of Singapore is very serious when it comes to remote sports betting and gambling within the territory of Singapore. In that regard, the 2014 Remote Gambling Act clearly states that any form of remote sports betting and any other gambling activity is strictly prohibited. Exceptions have to approved by either the Ministry of Home Affairs or the Parliament.
This makes it virtually impossible for popular European online sports betting websites to penetrate the Singapore market. As soon as the Remote Gambling Act went into effect, all the big online gambling operators such as Bet365, 888Holdings and William Hill decided to retreat from this market.
And it seems like the Singapore government is very serious regarding their Remote Gambling Act: only two exceptions were made by the Ministry of Home Affairs since starting off in 2014.
You’d think that such an aggressive Remote Gambling Act would have some effect on the Singapore online sports betting activities. However, things evolved in quite a different way. All the media coverage of the Act resulted in many Singaporeans to head over to the local sports betting establishments to place their bets and try their luck.
Similar to most of the regions on the globe, punters in Singapore prefer football bets over any other sport with a vast majority of 70% out of all the bets placed.
Next in line are horse racing, basketball, cricket rugby and badminton, but none of them can really compare with the market share that football enjoys. With such great statistics, you would be forced to believe that sports betting is a great part of the entire Singaporean online gambling business. However, things are quite different. Below, we will present some data and statistics from the National Council on Problem Gambling in Singapore. They will help you to understand the entire online sports betting phenomenon in Singapore and the impact it has on the overall gambling preferences.
Online Sports Betting and Gambling in Numbers
A survey conducted in 2017 revealed that 52% out of the total of 3000 people that participated, responded that they had taken part in some form of gambling in the previous month. That’s a huge increase compared to the last run of the survey, just before the Remote Gambling Act passed in 2014. The raise from 44% in 2014 to 52% in 2017 can only be attributed to the regulation of the market, acting as an incentive for Singapore punters to use the local sports betting website to place their bets. The total figure reported by the Singapore Tote Board for wagers on gambling in Singapore was $7.2 billion, representing a 15% increase compared to 2014 before the Gambling Act.
However, as huge as it may seem, the 52% figure we are getting from this survey refers to any form of gambling, not strictly to online sports betting or gambling. Out of all the people that gamble in Singapore, 42% enjoyed 4-Digits lottery, while 36% preferred Toto.
Regarding sports betting, data shows that only 2% out of the total gambling activities concentrated on this sector. This seems a little low compared with the figures that big sportsbook companies were registering before 2014. The percentage could habe been a lot higher in reality, however, with all the restrictions regarding betting at remote sites, Singaporeans might be cautious about their gambling behaviour.
Online Bookmakers in Singapore
The only two online operators allowed to offer their services to punters in Singapore are the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club.
Singapore Pools offers their customers the possibility to place online sports bets on football and Formula 1. The odds offered by Singapore Pools are considered to be fair and competitive; most local punters say they can trust their local sports betting provider. Singapore pools also offers lottery services such as Toto and 4D, which are more popular than sports betting in Singapore.
Singapore Turf Club is the other government licensed online sports betting operator in Singapore. They strictly focus on horseracing, a sport that enjoys a lot of popularity among punters. It is online since 2016 and it enjoys a solid customer base, hosting a lot of different horseracing competitions across Singapore.