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Singapore Blocks Hundreds Of Gambling Sites

Country Considers It A Crime To Play Of Offshore Site

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Singapore, one of the top casino markets in the world, has blocked hundreds of offshore gambling sites catering to those within the country, the government said this week.

It is now a criminal offense to gamble online in the country on an unauthorized site.

According to The Jakarta Post, the new law went into effect this past October, and in the intervening months the government implemented the law, culminating in this week’s announcement.

The law specifically targets “remote gambling.”

In addition to outright blocking the sites, the Singaporean government is able to apply broad blocks on payment processing that involves the online betting sites.

According to the report, sites such as Paddy Power, ibcbet.com and sbobet.com have been blocked. It’s unclear if the world’s leading poker sites have also been blocked.

The report added that there is a carve out:

Under the law, exemptions can be granted for locally based online gambling operators that follow strict rules and operate on a non-profit basis. Lottery operator Singapore Pools told local media it would apply for the exemption.

Singapore has a history of blocking access to certain websites. The report said that the country has applied sweeping bans to porn sites, as well as extramarital dating sites like Ashley Madison.

The most popular form of online gambling in Singapore reportedly is sports betting. Singaporeans wager about $416 million annually on sports via the Internet.

Singapore is also considering blocking access to sites offering Virtual Private Networks (VPN) that would allow citizens to get around the country’s online blocks.