Playing games from home is now a very popular activity that millions of people in Singapore engage in during their leisure. The convenience of playing casino games from wherever you are is one of the reasons people now prefer them over mainstream casinos. However, some people are still not sure whether playing online casino games from their homes is illegal.
Gambling is a regulated activity in Singapore, so it has to be done in a way that abides by the gambling laws of the land. Playing online casino games from the comfort of your own home may be against the law, as you’ll learn if you read this article. We at SafeCasinos.Asia shall also share with you tips for playing these games in a way that doesn’t violate the laws that regulate gambling in Singapore.
What Laws Regulate Gambling Activities in Singapore?
There are a total of five laws put in place by the government of Singapore to regulate all gambling activities in the country. These include the below.
- The Common Gaming Houses Act – Common gambling establishments, public gaming and public lotteries are regulated and prohibited by this legislation.
- The Betting Act – Betting establishments, public wagering and bookies are all regulated by this law.
- Private Lotteries Act – This includes lotteries held in private residences and offices.
- Casino Control Act – In Singapore, there are two licenced casinos that are regulated by this law.
- Remote Gambling Act – Internet, telephone, television, and radio gambling, as well as any other kind of gambling performed by electronic or technical means (such as the Internet), are all included under this law.
For this article, we are trying to find out whether gambling at your home is illegal. The two laws that are directly related to gambling from home are the first and fifth. Our focus will be on the first.
Section 3 of the Common Gaming Houses Act declares every common gaming establishment to be a public nuisance in violation of the law. This legislation does not restrict you from playing online casino games at home, as we will see. To make this clear, we need to define what gaming and common gaming house mean.
What Gaming Means According to this Law?
Based on this law, gaming refers to the playing of any games that involve luck and getting money rewards. This encompasses all online gambling activities since they include playing games that depend on luck and getting financial rewards when you win. So, playing any online game, including Blackjack, poker, roulette, or slots, is classified as gaming according to this law.
What does a “Common Gaming House” Mean?
According to this law, a common gaming house refers to any physical structure used for habitual gaming, including all gambling activities. So, any structure that is put in place with the aim of gathering members of the public to play games can be classified as a common gaming house.
- Read about the Singapore Remote Gambling Act here.
So, is Playing Online Casino Games at Home Illegal?
Based on the above interpretation of the two key phrases in Section 3 of the Common Gaming Houses Act, playing online casino games from your home is not illegal. This is mainly because your home is not a common gaming house unless you allow public members to access it. So, it is okay to play casino games with members of your family or friends that come around to visit you.
However, you need to avoid the temptation of turning your property, whether your home or office, into a public gambling centre, as this violated the law. An unlawful establishment of a common gaming house is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to S$5,000 under the Common House Gaming Act.
If you are to do any form of gambling from your home, it is important to keep it private to avoid the wrath of the law.
Tips For Gambling Safely at Home
If you choose to do gambling from your home, here are some of the tips you can use to stay out of trouble;
- Avoid making a lot of noise during the games: While playing games, don’t make noise that will attract the attention of the general public. It should also not be inconvenient for your neighbours.
- Don’t make it public: Keep the circle of those involved in the games small by avoiding members of the public. Once your home is accessible to everyone outside your family, then you will attract the attention of law enforcers.
- Be mindful of habitual gamblers: If some of your friends are gambling addicts, they may attract more people from the casinos they play from, hence turning your home into a common gaming house.
- Keep the bets small: The size of your bets should always be small to avoid getting the attention of law enforcers. It’s important to portray it as a leisure activity rather than a business.
Based on the laws of Singapore, playing games from your home doesn’t violate the law as long you don’t invite strangers and other members of the public to join. That means playing online casino Singapore games on your computer or phone is also legal in Singapore. Online casinos with licences from well-known gaming authorities should be your first choice if you want to play.