WP finds unlikely allies within PAP in their call for total ban on remote gambling

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The Government has exempted Singapore Pools and Turf Club from the online gambling ban. The Government justified its exemptions for the two game operators saying, “a complete ban on remote gambling drives demand and activities underground, and may create larger incentives for criminal syndicates to target Singapore.”

Its justification, which is in response to the Workers’ Party call to reject applications for online betting services, also said: “The greater the extent of underground illegal activities, the greater the risk to law and order, and the greater the danger to individuals who might be involved in underground remote gambling.”

Responding to the Government’s announcement to exempt the two operators, WP’s Leon Perera said that he was disappointed by the decision. “The Remote Gambling Act was meant to curb the corrosive social effects of online gambling,” he said.

“With these exemptions, gambling outlets can potentially enter every home and mobile device,” he added.

Former NCMP Gerald Giam also expressed his disappointment with a blogpostwhere he lambasted the Government as being an unrighteous one. He further revealed that he once believed in the PAP government, but changed his mind after they decided to build two casinos.

“I concluded that positive change from within would be impossible in Singapore,” he said.

Adding, “less than two years later, I joined the Workers’ Party (WP), which to its credit, fiercely objected to the introduction of casinos.”

The WP has now found the unlikeliest of allies in their campaign to urge the Government to review its decision to reject applications for online betting services – from some PAP MPs.

Denise Phua writing in her Facebook said that PAP MPs like Christopher de Souza and herself expressed discomfort with the exempt operator provision when the Remote Gambling Bill was put up in October 2014.

The difference she pointed out was that, MPs like her would continue to try to influence policies from within to seek a total ban.

“I cannot and will not wish the exempted operators to do well in this new endeavour,” Ms Phua said.