Online Poker in Singapore

If you’re looking for accurate information on the state of online poker in Singapore, you may find that it’s harder than you imagined to get to the truth. There seems to be a great deal of confusion when it comes to the legal situation of online poker in the country, and even we aren’t entirely certain of how the government views online gambling. That said, many players in Singapore do play online poker, and since the government hasn’t seen fit to clamp down on the activity, this isn’t likely to change any time soon. So, if you fancy dabbling in some online poker, look at some of our top rated poker sites for Singapore players.

Best Poker Sites in Singapore



Online Poker Law in Singapore

The state of online poker in Singapore is a bit tougher to pin down than in most countries. In fact, this is been a source of confusion not just for the average online poker player, but even for those with some knowledge of Singapore’s laws and regulations on gambling.

Let’s start with what we know for sure. First, there are two acts that could be related to the legality of online gambling here: the Betting Act and the Common Gaming House Act. These two laws were designed to carve out specific exceptions for racing clubs and other associations, allowing those organizations to take specific kinds of wagers and members of those clubs to place wagers.

Essentially, this limited authorized wagering in Singapore to two specific groups: the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club. These two groups are allowed to take bets on a variety of sports and racing enterprises, while others are not allowed to engage in gambling operations.

Thus, based on those laws, some people have concluded that online poker must be illegal in Singapore. After all, if the laws state that only a very specific group of organizations can take bets, anyone else taking bets must be violating the law, right?

However, other’s point out that this is not so clear. Nearly all online poker and gambling sites are based in locations outside of Singapore, complicated matters greatly. There’s nothing illegal about Singapore residents gambling at casinos outside of the country either, meaning that it might very well be legal for them to play on poker websites that are outside of the country. Furthermore, no individual has been charged with any count of illegal gambling based on any online gambling activity that took place in their homes, excepting a handful of special cases where individuals set up a public space for people to wager at online casinos while making a profit on the people coming in to gamble. Thus, even in those cases, it wasn’t the actual online gambling that was deemed illegal.

The final verdict here is that the legal situation in Singapore is very unclear. There are no laws that specifically deal with online gambling, which means that any opinion on the legality of online gambling is based on interpretations of laws that were not intended to deal with internet gaming.

Online Poker Deposits in Singapore

For all the murkiness in this market, there is one somewhat beneficial byproduct of the lack of regulation: it’s not very hard to move your money to or from an online poker account. One of the most popular options for funding an online poker account is the use of credit or debit cards, with both Visa and MasterCard-branded cards being fairly widely accepted.

Another popular option is the e-wallet site, as most of these sites are happy to take customers from Singapore. These include Skrill, Neteller, and WebMoney, among others. One of the big advantages to using these sites is the ability to easily move your money between sites or back into your bank account, all without sharing your personal banking data with any of the online poker sites you’re playing on.

One of the areas in which options are limited is banking transfers. While there aren’t any big restrictions, most online poker sites have not set up special arrangements with local banks, perhaps in large part because of the uncertain legal situation here. Local bank transfers to an account owned by the online poker site are often possible, but that’s about it. You may also be able to receive your winnings in the same manner.

Future Outlook for Online Poker in Singapore

Given the lack of legal clarity in Singapore, many players there would likely welcome some sort of legal framework with which to work with in the country. However, as far as we can tell, there does not seem to be any serious movement to regulate the online gambling industry in the country. This means that the status quo is likely to remain in the near future.

However, it’s important to note that, unlike in many other countries, that does not necessarily guarantee a stable marketplace in Singapore. In other nations in which legislative or executive changes to the law seem unlikely, players can rely on existing laws to be enforced for the foreseeable future. In contrast, Singapore’s lack of directly applicable laws means that the online poker situation could change dramatically if the government makes a point of interpreting their current laws in one way or another. That means players should keep an eye on the legal situation here to ensure they aren’t caught by surprise in the future.