The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) made a U-turn on its opposition against online gambling and bent forward for the Singapore government to support online gambling in Singapore.
NCCS now acknowledges that the decision is a judgment call and accepted online gambling:
“Given the data on the current remote gambling landscape, the Government deems this to be the best approach to mitigate driving remote gambling activities underground and exacerbating law and order concerns. The Government acknowledges the council’s deep concern about the negative social consequences of legalising two remote gambling platforms, and will regularly monitor the overall impact.”
Representing the government, the Ministry of Social and Family Affairs (MSF) with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) advocated the legalisation of online gambling and pitched their proposal to NCCS. NCCS eventually relented and placed its full trust on the government:
“Our representatives had a candid and important face-to-face discussion with MHA and the MSF. The Government is willing to proactively strengthen the family and social environment to prevent and mitigate the harmful consequences of online gambling.”
Other religion representative organisations also gave in to the Singapore government’s demand for the legalisation of online gambling, and said they will no longer oppose the decision and instead “work around” to “educate” gamblers.
The Singapore government is legalising online gambling for its two state-owned gambling companies, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club. The move is to recover gambling tax revenue as the country’s economy hit a 7-year-low from declining exports. Official excuses for the legalisation claim that gambling can be “better managed and monitored” so long Singaporeans place their bets with the government-linked companies.