Singapore has seen an increasing number of scams involving fake gambling platforms.
There have been 299 annual cases reported in total, the number rising by 18 between 2019 and 2020. The victims of the scams lost close to SGD15.4m ($11.6m).
In total, there were 83 fake gambling cases investigated by the police between 2019 and 2020.
According to media reports, the customers of the fake sites were encouraged to open betting accounts on their platforms and take advantage of gambling loopholes that would help them profit faster.
Those accounts would then be frozen, requiring more money to unlock them and cash out the winnings. Once the money was received, the site would block the users and cease all communication.
Both the victims of the scam and the fraudsters are subject to Singapore’s Remote Gambling Act. People opening accounts could be fined up to SGD5,000 or be sentenced to jail for up to six months.
However, Singapore’s locals are not forbidden from gambling. In fact, the city-state’s two IRs were supported by the local gaming population throughout Q3 and Q4.
Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands earned $144m in the last quarter of 2020, a 106% rise from Q3. Analysts predict Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa will display similar results for Q4 when the company releases its report in February.
Singapore has a large expatriate community that favors slots and the city-state is working to establish travel bubbles with nearby countries, so it’s likely Singapore’s market will see further recovery.