Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Whether Incidents of Children Stealing To Fuel Their Mobile Gaming Addictions Are on the Rise Over the Past Five Years, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 05 October 2021


Mr Melvin Yong: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether incidents of children stealing to fuel their mobile gaming addictions are on the rise over the past five years; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider banning the sale of top-up cards at convenience stores to minors unless they are accompanied by a parent.


1.   In general, the number of young persons below 18 years old arrested for theft-related offences has been on a downward trend.  Over the past five years, there were also no theft reports specifically attributed to mobile gaming addiction.

2.   From the perspective of crime control, there are no plans to ban the sale of top-up cards with stored value to children.  We will however continue to work with relevant agencies dealing with child and youth issues and adjust where necessary.