Published: 11 September 2017
Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the Ministry's position on illegal gambling in HDB estates; (b) what observations and actions have the authorities made and taken so far; and (c) what further actions will they take to resolve long-standing illegal gambling issues in HDB estates when the authorities' actions do not generate lasting positive outcomes.
1. The Police adopt a tough enforcement stance against illegal gambling, whether it takes place in HDB estates or other places.
2. The illegal gambling situation in Singapore is stable and under control. This is due to our strict laws on gambling. Gambling is prohibited unless specifically allowed by way of an exemption, a licence or a permit. It is an offence to gamble in a public place under the Common Gaming Houses Act and also the Betting Act. Offenders are liable to be fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned up to six months, or both.
3. The Police are aware that some residents do gather at the common areas of their HDB estate to engage in gambling activities, and this may create social disamenities to others. When complaints are lodged, the Police will take enforcement action.
4. However, enforcement alone is not sufficient. To achieve sustainable outcomes, enforcement must be complemented by public education and community partnership. To this end, the Police work closely with grassroots leaders and partners such as the National Crime Prevention Council, to raise public awareness of the consequences of illegal gambling.