Community Organisations conducting Gambling for Social Bonding and Recreation
The Gambling Control Act 2022 (GCA) comes into operation on 1 August 2022. The Common Gaming Houses Act 1961, the Betting Act 1960, the Private Lotteries Act 2011 and the Remote Gambling Act 2014 have been repealed on the same day.
Under Part 4 of the GCA, community organisations that wish to conduct gambling on its premises will be required to apply for and be issued with a licence by the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA). A “community organisation” means any of the following entities that is formed in Singapore and that has its central management and control ordinarily exercised at a place within Singapore:
(a) an incorporated body other than a corporation that returns profits to its members;
(b) a club, a co‑operative society, a mutual benefit organisation, a trade union or an unincorporated association.1
Notwithstanding the above, the GCA provided for a one-year transition period for private bodies previously exempted under the Common Gaming Houses (Private Bodies - Exemption) Notification (N8) (CGH-EN). This means that such private bodies that were providing a gambling service in accordance with the conditions specified in the Schedule to the CGH-EN could continue to provide the same gambling service and under the same conditions specified until 31 July 2023. If these private bodies qualify as community organisations (as seen in the above definition) and wish to continue providing gambling services for social bonding and recreation purposes, these community organisations are required to apply for a licence ("CGS licence") under the GCA on or before 31 July 2023. These community organisations can then continue to provide the gambling services until the CGS Licence is granted, or the application for the CGS Licence is refused. Private bodies which have not submitted an application for a CGS licence on or before 31 July 2023 are to cease such gambling services with effect from 1 August 2023.
Please refer to the FAQs below regarding the licence application process.
Please note that if an activity does not constitute gambling, then the conduct of the activity will not require a licence or be subject to regulation under the GCA.
1 See Regulation 2 of the Gambling Control (General) Regulations 2022. Also, an “unincorporated association” means any society or other incorporated organisation that has (a) at least 10 members; (b) a management committee appointed or elected by the members of the society or organisation; and (c) a written constitution.