Photo of Tan Chuan Jin from CNA

Minister of Social and Family Affairs Tan Chuan Jin defended his decision to legalise online gambling in Singapore claiming that only online gambling with the two government-linked companies are “safe”, “controlled” and “managed” while the other betting websites are not.

“So (we have adopted) a combination of robust laws, bans; a controlled space; as well as supported by an extensive network of support for individuals with problems; and also increasing education and awareness. That’s the way we feel that we can approach the issue of trying to manage the growth of these problems.”

In a media interview with state media CNA yesterday (Oct 6), the former army general stumbled in his explanation with confusing contradictions:

“I think this is one way we are taking to try to moderate the issue, to prevent it from growing more than it should, and hopefully over time to strengthen it more than we can.”

Minister Tan Chuan Jin also drew reference to Norway and Hongkong, claiming that legalisation of gambling doesn’t create social problems:

“Whether, as a result of having this exempt operator regime, does the problem gambling situation increase? What we have found is that it hasn’t exacerbated their situation at all.”

To read his full interview, please see here for the transcript.

The Singapore government aims to collect more taxes from the legalisation of online gambling, and restricted the legalisation to the two government-linked companies – Singapore Pool and Singapore Turf Club.