5000 SGD Fine and Jail Time for Gambling in Public

The Philippine Embassy in Singapore has released an advisory through its social media account to remind the citizens and OFWs to not engage in public gambling as there are serious consequences to be had for offenders.

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As per Singapore’s Common Gambling Houses Act, engaging in public gambling in the country is punishable by a fine of not less than SGD 5,000 and/or serving jail time of not less than six (6) months.


[Embassy Advisory] Gambling in Public Warrants Offenders 5,000 SGD Fine and Jail Time

Gambling can be generally classified into three categories:

  • Gaming – pertains to those that require luck and skills to win (i.e. Dai Di, and the card game, “Big Two”).
  • Lotteries – such as the 4D or the Singapore Sweep
  • Betting – these pertains to activities which involve wagering (i.e. football matches or horse races)

In Singapore, gaming is a common recreational activity. This can be usually observed at a funeral, which is considered gaming in private and is generally acceptable. However, gambling den activities and other forms of gaming in public are not allowed in the country.

The activities are regulated by the Common Gaming Houses Act of Singapore. This being the case, those involved in gambling den operations or in any form of public gaming may be subject to legal sanctions. Meanwhile, legalised casinos are exempt from these regulations.

On another note, underground betting is also considered illegal as per the Betting Act of Singapore. Only legalised entities such as Singapore Pools can operate public betting in the country.

Lastly, jackpot machines are not allowed in Singapore, in compliance with the Private Lotteries Act. The only exemption to this would be when authorization is granted or as in the case of legalised casinos.

By now, we should understand that gambling in Singapore is heavily regulated, and it is not such a smart idea to challenge the law in a country such as Singapore, or in any part of the world, especially when we’re working abroad to support our families back home. If it’s an issue of boredom or homesickness, this article should be able to help.