Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Singapore?
Online betting in Singapore is very popular, and there are a lot of gambling websites where players can register and bet. Sometimes, this could be confusing when it comes to choose the right bookmaker. Below, we have outlined some of the leading betting sites for Singaporean punters which we recommend:
Singapore is known as a country for its strict rules and regulations, and when it comes to gambling online, things are no different. Legally, punters can only bet on one of two local, licensed sites that offer limited options. Bettors are increasingly turning to overseas websites, that provide far more variety, and often greater odds, despite the government’s attempts to block them.
Interesting Facts about Betting in Singapore
- 52% of adult Singaporeans admit to gambling at least once in the past year
- There are only two legal casinos in Singapore, and together they have combined annual revenue of over USD 6 billion
- Legal online gambling makes up just 1% of all gambling activities in the country
- The most common type of gambling is 4D
- Superstition plays a big part in gambling, for a lot of Singaporeans. If people drive past a car crash, they will write down the number plate, and use the numbers for 4D
- It is also common for people from Singapore to travel to Malaysia to gamble there, where there is a larger market
Gambling Legislation and Laws
Singapore is known to be a heavily-regulated state, and its gambling laws are no different. While some forms of gambling are legal, others are not, and punishments can be heavy.
There are several different laws that related to various forms of land-based betting. Through these laws, casinos, sports betting, horse racing and lotteries are legal, but strictly regulated. These regulations are not just on the punter, but also on the bookies – to be licensed, they must prove that their establishment is operating honestly and fairly, and free of any criminal influence.
The Remote Gambling Act has enabled Singapore to block all unlicensed betting sites from targeting the population. This law also means that certain gambling activities on sites are legal, provided that the site is licensed by the Singapore government. Punters can access sports bets, horse racing and lotteries online, but cannot legally play at online casinos.
Competition between Operators
Legally, there is a monopoly when it comes to online gambling in Singapore. The only two sites that are licensed to offer their services to punters within the country are Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club. However, this does not stop bettors from accessing the international market, where there is much more variety and opportunity to seek out the best site according to preference.
These monopolies also exist when it comes to land-based betting – Singapore Pools is the only organization that accepts football bets (the only legal form of sports betting), and Singapore Turf Club has a monopoly on horse racing bets.
Bonuses from Singaporean Bookmakers
Some many different bonuses and promotions can be gained from Singapore bookmakers if punters choose to opt into them. When punters first sign up to a betting site, they will usually be offered a welcome bonus. Punters should be aware that although these bonuses can appear very enticing, they often come with strict turnover requirements, which can severely limit what you can actually withdraw.
For the existing customers, there are also a wide variety of bonuses and promotions, to encourage continued use of the site. These are often related to a specific sporting event or casino game, so there is something for everyone. These bonuses can also change semi-regularly, so punters need to check the promotions page of the betting site frequently, to make sure they are not actually missing out on anything new that might appeal to them.
Betting Features and Options in Singaporean Bookmakers
There are a number of different features on gambling sites, designed to make the experience as enjoyable as possible and to allow bookmakers to stand out in a competitive market. Some of the most common and useful betting features from Singaporean bookmakers include:
Available Payment Methods
There are a number of different payment methods available for punters to choose from so that they can gamble in a way that is convenient for them. Most sites offer several various e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill, Paypal, AsiaPay and Trustly. The majority of these methods can be used to deposit and withdraw money, and are mostly free (although you should check your specific site just to be sure). Many bookmakers will also accept bank cards such as Visa and MasterCard. However, the Singaporean gambling regulations mean that banks have the right to block payments going to and from illegal gambling sites. While this is still offered on many overseas sites, punters may wish to choose a less risky option.
Singapore uses the Singapore Dollar (SGD) as their form of currency. This may be accepted on some gambling sites, while others may require punters to convert their deposits into a different currency, such as USD, or EUR. Many betting sites will offer these services but be warned that they often charge very high conversion rates.
Mobile Betting in Singapore
Because of the nature of the law surrounding gambling in Singapore, there are many gambling apps that are banned from being offered in Singaporean app stores. This can make it difficult for punters to gamble wherever and whenever they want, restricting the already-minimal online gambling market.
Despite this, many bookmakers offer a mobile version of the desktop site. This allows users to play on their phones or mobile devices with ease, and it does not have to be downloaded. Although it is not as convenient as an app, it is still a handy way to get around the ban.
There are only two legally-licensed online gambling sites in Singapore – Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club. They offer a severely restricted selection, and punters continue to seek these services elsewhere. Many online bookmakers will not accept Singaporean customers due to the legalities, but there are still some that open their online casinos. Punters can always find a full range of casino games, such as slots, card games, live casinos and roulette to play on through international sites. But it should be mentioned that they must always exercise caution – due to the fact that overseas sites are illegal, they have no legal support if anything goes wrong. Bettors should only ever use trusted, reputable sites.
Leading Sports for Betting in Singapore
Sports betting makes up a significant part of gambling in Singapore, both online and offline. The most popular sports to bet on within the country are:
The most popular sport in the world is Football, and Singapore is not exempt from interest. Although the country does not perform as well as some others at a global level, there is still a large amount of support. The Singaporean team does well in the AFF, an Asian tournament that is covered by many betting sites, including popular Malaysian ones. Punters, of course, can also bet extensively on other football tournaments on any betting site.
Basketball is incredibly popular within Singapore, and there is always massive support for the national team. International gambling sites will often offer coverage of tournaments that the team plays in, allowing patriotic punters to show their support. For those who really love the game, betting sites also provide extensive coverage of other championships, such as the NBA, and basketball in the Summer Olympics.
Known as the gentleman game, cricket is exceptionally popular in Singapore. The country excels at the sport, and the national team currently sits within the ICC World Cricket League Division 3, which is the highest division. Singaporeans can bet on their side in several different championships, the most popular being the annual Stan Nagaiah Trophy, where they compete against Malaysia. If punters still want more cricket to bet on, sites offer wide global coverage of the sport.
Rugby has received relatively recent popularity in Singapore compared to some of the other sports but is one of the biggest games today. Betting increases dramatically during the Rugby World Cup. This is covered extensively on betting sites, offering a range of different betting options to suit all punters.
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular within Singapore, not just as a competitive sport, but as a hobby and also as a means of getting around. This drives increased interest in the sport, and competitions such as the Tour de France see significant amounts of money gambled on them. Cycling in the Summer Olympics is also popular to bet on.
The Profile of a Singaporean Bettor
Not a lot is known about the average Singaporean bettor, as the government is yet to collect this kind of information. Singaporean gamblers are almost exclusively gambling in physical establishments according to statistics; however, this is because the majority of online gambling is very often done illegally, on international sites. There is no way of knowing how big this population is, as of right now.
One of the positives that have been noted about Singaporean gamblers is that although the number of players is increasing, the rate of problem gambling is not. On average, Singaporeans spend $891 per person on gambling.
Is online betting legal in Singapore?
Yes, online betting is legal in Singapore, but only if it is conducted through a local, licensed site (Singapore Pools or Singapore Turf Club). Every other form of online gambling is illegal.
How to choose the best international gambling site?
If a punter is fully aware of the risks they are taking by gambling illegally, they should know that there are a few things to consider, to keep as safe as possible. Always gamble on a site that is known to be reliable and reputable. This reduces the chances of anything going wrong. Punters should also choose a website that can cater to their preferences – offers the kinds of betting they are interested in, has a wide variety of markets, and excellent bonuses and promotions.
Are there any taxes for Singaporean players on their winnings?
No, winnings from any form of gambling are not taxed in Singapore.
Can I open an account and play in SGD?
Yes, if you are playing on one of the Singaporean licensed sites, you will be able to bet using SGD. If you are playing on an international site, there are a number that does accept SGD, but there are also a few that do not.
Are there any betting restrictions on Singaporean players?
Yes, there are a number of restrictions. Players can only gamble legally on a handful of licensed sites, and there are strong punishments for those who are found to be breaking the law. These local sites are very limited in terms of the types of gambling that they offer, and this can be a huge restriction for many players.
Although online gambling is largely illegal in Singapore, this does not stop punters from accessing international sites through VPNs. While this is risky, the practice does not appear to be going away, in fact, it is likely to be increasing. Punters should exercise caution when gambling online, as the punishments are known to be strict. Although for many, the risk is worth the greater variety and opportunities to win big.
It is unlikely that the government will change its stance on online gambling any time soon, as the state is known to be strict in several areas. Alternatively, the state should increase local gambling opportunities online, in an attempt to redirect the flow of interest, and get more people playing on licensed sites.