Singapore Casino Regulator Cites Loot Boxes as Gambling Risk

Loot boxes in video games are in the news again and casino regulators in Singapore are investigating the ‘novel’ gambling products. They have mentioned the obvious appeal to a young demographic as the motivation to mitigate the possible risk involved in playing those games. Officially known as the Singapore’ Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA), it is one of the regulatory bodies in a long list of countries that have moved to investigate loot boxes and determine if they constitute gambling. These products are one of the handful of measures that the department is looking into in order to “support policy development and enhance CRA’s risk management.

Casino Regulator to Improve Risk management

The Second Minister for Home Affairs, Josephine Teo made the announcement at the 5th Singapore Symposium on Gambling Regulation and Crime on Thursday, Aug 29. During her speech, Mrs Teo made mention of the regulator’s commitment to the importance of responsible gambling and identifying characteristics that pose a risk to patrons who play video games. She explained that they were “working closely with the casinos in Singapore to implement measures to help patrons make informed decisions about gambling,”.

singapore-casino regulator investigates loot boxes

There has been a noticeable increase in online gambling in Singapore, with almost everyone owning a smartphone. Mrs. Teo wants to form a new law that looks at ‘novel’ products and how they can best be regulated. The CRA is taking notes of how gambling regulators in other countries have been dealing with the inherent rise in gambling around the world. The minister referred to the stats which have shown how the gambling revenue has grown from 2009 to 2016. In that period, there was a 10 percent increase, almost doubling the revenue to a whopping US$39 billion.

Possible Measures to be Explored

With the online gambling market expected to grow in the Asia-Pacific, some of the measures that have been highlighted to minimise the risk of problem gambling include the following:

  • Measures to notify patrons of the amount they spend at a casino.
  • Encouraging players to voluntarily setup limits on their expenditure.
  • Set caps on the duration of time spent at the casino.
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