Press Releases

Changes to Regulation of Fruit Machines

Published: 20 July 2017

1.     At the 2016 Committee of Supply Debate, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that it had commenced a review of regulations of fruit machines. MHA has since concluded the review, and will implement the changes progressively over the next two years.


2.     The changes are in the following areas:

    1. More stringent criteria for fruit machine permits;
    2. Reduction in the availability and accessibility of fruit machine offerings; and
    3. Stronger social safeguards.  


More Stringent Criteria for Fruit Machine Permits

3.     At present, a club may be allowed to operate fruit machines if, among other things, the club provides at least two other recreational facilities. 


4.     Over time, a number of clubs have relied on fruit machines as a major activity. This is not in line with the intention of allowing clubs to operate fruit machines only as an ancillary part of a broader suite of social and recreational offerings to club members. 


5.     We will therefore tighten the permit criteria for fruit machines. For future renewals and applications of fruit machine permits, the Permit Officer (who is appointed by the Minister for Home Affairs) will assess if clubs provide a suitably wide range of substantive recreational and social facilities and services to their members. Clubs that are currently operating fruit machines but do not meet the criteria will have to cease their fruit machine operations by 30 April 2018.


6.     For some clubs that do not meet these criteria, the Permit Officer will also assess if the fruit machine operations of the clubs are necessary to allow the clubs to contribute to wider social interests. The Permit Officer will seek the inputs of other government agencies in making this assessment.  


Reduction in Availability and Accessibility of Fruit Machine Offerings

7.     We will also tighten fruit machine quotas. Many clubs will see a reduction in the number of fruit machines they can operate. The reduction in the number of fruit machines will be phased-in over the next two years.


8.     We will further impose the following conditions restricting access to fruit machine rooms, from November 2017 onwards:

    1. Entry to fruit machine rooms will be restricted to individuals who hold membership terms of at least one year, and are 21 years old and above;
    2. Members will not be allowed to bring guests into fruit machine rooms; and
    3. The operating hours of fruit machine rooms will be limited to between 10am and 11pm.


Stronger Social Safeguards

9.     Clubs will be required to put in place measures to protect individuals from the potential harms of fruit machine gaming. These measures will be implemented largely by the end of 2017, with one final measure in May 2018.


    1. Enforcing exclusion from all fruit machine rooms if the individual has a Self-Exclusion from fruit machine rooms or a National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) Relevant Exclusion:[1] Clubs have to implement the self-exclusion scheme facilitated by NCPG. Persons with casino exclusions due to their financial situations or family objections will also be excluded from fruit machine rooms. This will be implemented in May 2018; 

    2. Implementing responsible gambling measures, including disallowing ATMs, Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) systems and credit card facilities in fruit machine rooms; and

    3. Restrictions on fruit machine Advertising and Promotions (A&P): Currently, A&P of fruit machines are prohibited outside of clubhouses. We will further prohibit A&P of fruit machines within the clubhouse and on the Internet and other media platforms.



10.     The above changes will align the regulations of fruit machines more closely to the intention of ensuring fruit machines are only an ancillary part of a club's broader suite of recreational and social offerings. The changes will also strengthen protection of individuals from the potential harms of fruit machine gaming. We will continue to further review and enhance our regulations.



20 JULY 2017

[1]  NCPG Relevant Exclusion  refers to: (i) a family exclusion order made under section 162 or 165C of the Casino Control Act (CCA); (ii) an exclusion from the casinos by law under section 165A(1)(a) and (b) of the CCA for undischarged bankrupts, recipients of Government financial aid, recipients of legal aid, and HDB rental tenants who have six or more months of arrears; or (iii) an exclusion order made under section 165 or 165C of the CCA. 


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