Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap (Aljunied): Sir, in replying to my Parliamentary Question on whether MSF could consider debarring individuals who are under both Self-Exclusion and Family Exclusion Orders under the Casino Control Act from placing bets at Singapore Pools outlets, the Minister had noted that there were several safeguards around betting with Singapore Pools and that such an exclusion may drive more gambling underground and cause more harm.
Sir, I raise this issue because I have a resident who has continuously lamented to me on his wife’s problematic gambling habits. Although the lady is under both Self-Exclusion and Family Exclusion Orders, she has continued to spend thousands of dollars gambling at Singapore Pools using her salary and borrowing from licensed and unlicensed moneylenders.
Sir, no measures can stop problem gamblers from feeding their addictions. However, I believe that we need to consider how to disincentivise gambling and reduce opportunities for gamblers to indulge in their habit.
We can use technological solutions for this. I propose creating an additional requirement for Singapore Pools’ counter staff to scan the identity card of individuals placing Toto and 4D bets above a certain threshold. The purpose of the scan would be to verify that the said individual is not, in fact, under an Exclusion Order and should thus be prohibited from placing bets with Singapore Pools. While this will create some delays in the process, I believe it is worthwhile if it deters those on Exclusion Orders from gambling excessively via legal platforms.
Ministry of Social and Family Development
9 March 2022