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Five Things You Didn’t Know About CRA
Behind the flashing lights – how CRA ensures a robust regulatory regime for casino operations in Singapore.

“Five Things You Didn’t Know About…” is a series that provides a candid look at the Home Team.

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GRAPHIC: Fatimah Mujibah

#1: Who's That?
CRA stands for Casino Regulatory Authority. Established in 2008, it’s a statutory board of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Although its work occurs largely away from the public eye, CRA plays a unique and vital role in supervising the operations of the two casinos in Singapore. 

A key aspect of CRA’s work involves ensuring that casino operations are free from criminal influence or exploitation. It also makes sure that gaming in the casinos is conducted honestly, and that the potential for harm to minors, vulnerable persons or society at large is controlled and managed. 

#2: Establishing A Robust Regulatory Regime
To fulfil its goals, CRA learnt from the experiences of foreign casino regulators and also worked closely with casino operators and its partners. Having gained important insights, CRA has established a robust regulatory regime for casino operations in Singapore. 

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CRA officers assessing casino staff during a mock casino simulation exercise. PHOTO: CRA

Before Singapore’s two casinos opened in 2010, CRA officers conducted mock sessions that simulated real-time casino operations to assess the competence of casino staff. 

But they didn’t just stop there. Sessions also included challenging “surprise scenarios” (including a bomb threat) to test the responses and follow-up actions of casino employees. Only after the casinos were assessed to be compliant with regulatory requirements were they allowed to begin operations.

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A CRA officer inspecting an electronic gaming machine. PHOTO: Fatimah Mujibah

#3: Screening and Vigilance
CRA’s vigilance extends to individual gaming machines as well. Did you know that before a gaming machine can be approved by CRA for deployment, it has to first be tested and certified by approved laboratories, and then the test results reviewed by CRA, to ensure that it complies with regulatory requirements?

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Devices that support our robust regulatory regime (from left): An electronic card shoe and an automated card shuffler. PHOTO: Home Team News

#4: Keeping Up with Technology
To stay abreast of the latest developments in gaming, CRA and the casino operators have embraced new technology to reduce the chance of human error as well as fight crime. Electronic card shoes help reduce dealer mistakes while automated card shufflers help prevent card-counting. 

Over the years, CRA has also introduced additional player protection mechanisms. For instance, to reduce the intensity of the gaming experience, CRA requires an interval of at least three seconds between the start of each spin on a gaming machine. 

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Learning from the experiences of other regulators: CRA officers at a training session conducted by a representative of the New South Wales Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority in 2009. PHOTO: CRA

#5: A Decade of Regulatory Excellence, and Beyond
CRA celebrated its 10th anniversary in April 2018. Having progressed from a newly set-up statutory board to a respected regulator, CRA is now paying it forward by sharing its knowledge with other jurisdictions.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Fatimah Mujibah
  2. 22 February 2019
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