Published: 15 January 2020
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was recently notified by Singapore Pools (Private) Limited (SPPL) of issues with its system that generates TOTO Quick Pick and System Roll bets placed via remote platforms (internet, mobile app and telephone). SPPL has since rectified these errors. MHA is conducting investigations into these errors.
Error in TOTO Quick Pick Number Generation via Remote Platforms
2. On 3 January 2020, SPPL alerted MHA of a software error in the generation of TOTO Quick Pick numbers purchased via remote platforms between 2 October 2018 and 21 December 2019. The error resulted in the system excluding the number “49” and selecting numbers from “1” to “48” only, when generating Quick Pick numbers for customers placing bets via remote platforms. SPPL had been alerted to the error on 18 December 2019, and rectified it on 21 December 2019.
Error in TOTO Quick Pick System Roll Number Generation via Remote Platforms
3. SPPL reported a second issue to MHA on 10 January 2020. On 20 December 2019, while resolving the error involving Quick Pick number generation, SPPL uncovered an error in the generation of TOTO Quick Pick System Roll numbers purchased via remote platforms since 2 October 2018. The system ought to have randomly generated six numbers and then assign “R” in place of one of the six generated numbers, whereby “R” would represent any of the remaining 44 numbers. However, the system replaced the largest of the six generated numbers with “R” instead. After receiving the service provider’s confirmation on 12 January 2020 that it was indeed an error, SPPL rectified the error on 13 January 2020.
Bets Placed at SPPL Outlets in Person were Not Affected
4. The errors with Quick Pick and System Roll affected only customers who placed such bets via remote platforms. Customers who placed bets at SPPL’s outlets in person were not affected.
Actions Taken by MHA as Gambling Regulator
5. MHA takes a very serious view of these errors and is currently investigating the matter. SPPL provides Singapore-based remote gambling services pursuant to an exemption under Part 5 of the Remote Gambling Act (RGA). Regulatory sanctions under the RGA may be imposed if a breach of the conditions of exemption is determined. Such sanctions may include a censure, variation of the conditions of exemption, and the imposition of a financial penalty.
6. MHA has directed SPPL to take all necessary measures to ensure the integrity of the betting system, and to prevent recurrence. In this regard, MHA notes that the Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board) will be convening a review panel chaired by Mr Moses Lee, Chairman Tote Board, and comprising independent Board Members and external expert resources, to assess SPPL’s handling of the issues and to recommend further actions as necessary. MHA will look into SPPL’s rectifications and preventive measures. MHA also notes that SPPL is looking into remediation for affected customers.