Singapore citizens and permanent residents can now use a one-stop shop to exclude themselves from a wide range of non-casino gambling venues, including those at the Safra National Service Association, HomeTeamNS and NTUC clubs.
The centralised system was launched by the Responsible Gambling Forum (RGF) yesterday to make self-exclusion a simple and fast process.
A person can now apply online at www.ncpg.org.sg to bar himself from casinos and other gambling venues at one go, using a SingPass. While self-exclusion has been offered at some clubs since 2007, there was no one-stop way to apply.
The service, an extension of the existing casino exclusion regime, now includes remote betting services offered by major operators Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club.
Nine more operators, including the People's Association Staff Club and the National Service Resort & Country Club, will join in August, bringing the tally of non-casino gambling operators with central opt-out to 21.
There are 73 non-casino gambling operators here running a total of 93 jackpot clubs consisting of about 2,000 machines.
Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that there was still much work to be done to promote responsible gambling, but that a "significant milestone" had been reached in the collaboration between the gambling industry and community leaders in tackling key issues.
The RGF, which comprises representatives from both sides, was set up last June to raise responsible gambling standards for non-casino venues.
"We know that there are still many challenges ahead, and if we are to compare ourselves with what some other countries have achieved, we have but taken the first baby steps in a long journey," said Mr Chan, who was speaking at the launch of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Many gambling operators are willing to adopt the self-exclusion initiative, he said, but some are afraid of the extra responsibilities - such as training.
RGF co-chair Tan Soo Nan, Singapore Pools' chief executive, said smaller clubs can tap the staff training programmes of Singapore Pools or the casinos. "If you're running your own operation... it is in your own interests to look at these programmes and adapt them," he said. "It is good for your staff, it is good for the community at large, and people will say that, in the long run, you must have it..."
Non-gambling operators are now expected to build and improve their responsible gambling capabilities through staff training. It was announced yesterday that Resorts World Sentosa will run a training curriculum for staff of private lottery clubs.
This article was published on MONTH DAY in The Straits Times.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.