Press Releases

Update on Regulation of Fruit Machines

Published: 03 May 2018

  1. In July 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced changes to the regulation of fruit machines (FMs). This included revising the criteria for FM permits, reducing the availability and accessibility of FMs, and working with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to implement stronger social safeguards. The changes were to be implemented progressively over the next two years.



    Reduction in Number of Clubs Operating FMs


  2. There are now 42 clubs operating FMs, down 31% from 61 in October 2017.



    a.     Seven clubs did not re-apply for a permit, when their permits expired on 31 October 2017.



    b.     In October 2017, the Permit Officer granted permits to 46 clubs, which had been assessed to meet the revised criteria. Among these 46 clubs, four have since ceased their FM operations on their own accord.



    c.     The Permit Officer also granted 6-month interim permits to another eight clubs, which had been assessed not to meet the revised criteria for FM operations. The eight clubs had ceased their FM operations by 30 April 2018.



  3. There are currently fewer than 1,500 FMs across all private clubs. This is a decrease of 20% from October 2017, when there were more than 1,800 FMs.



    Implementation of Social Safeguards


  4. On 1 May 2018, another tranche of measures was implemented, to further protect vulnerable individuals from the potential harms of FM gaming:


    a.     Individuals can exclude themselves from all FM rooms with a one-time application for Self-Exclusion. Previously, applications for Self-Exclusion from FM rooms were done on a club-by-club basis. With the change, an individual will exclude himself from all FM rooms via one application; and

    b.     Vulnerable individuals who are issued with a National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) Relevant Exclusion are excluded from all FM rooms. [1] All clubs have to verify an individual’s exclusion status with the NCPG E-Service at the point of entry, before allowing him into the FM room.


  5. This latest tranche of measures will build on earlier efforts to reduce the availability and accessibility of FMs and to strengthen social safeguards. Please refer to Annex for the measures implemented on 1 Nov 2017.




The measures implemented on 1 Nov 2017 included:


Reduce availability and accessibility of FM rooms.


  • Entry to FM rooms is restricted to individuals who hold membership terms of at least one year, and who are 21 years old and above;
  • Members are not allowed to bring guests into FM rooms; and
  • The operating hours of FM rooms are limited to between 10am and 11pm every day.


Strengthen social safeguards.


  • ATMs, Electronic Fund Transfer at Post-of-Sale (e.g. NETS) systems and credit card facilities are not allowed in FM rooms; and
  • No advertising or promotion is permitted outside FM rooms and on websites.


[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 flat tenants paying subsidised rents with rental arrears of six months or more; or (iii) an exclusion order made under section 165 or 165C of the CCA.



Law and order
Gambling and Casino Regulation