Which bookmakers are trusted and where to place bets in Singapore?
Which are the best bookmakers for the Singaporean customers? What kind of bonuses, conditions and features do they offer? Get a list of the most trustworthy betting companies and choose the right one for your play.
Why choose online betting in Singapore
While all forms of online gambling are illegal as a result of the 2004 Remote Gambling Act, the Singaporean Government in 2016 legalised online betting but only through its two state-owned betting sites. That leaves Singaporeans wishing to gamble online limited choices that could result in a fine up to $5000 and include up to six months of incarceration. That leaves only the Singapore Pools Private Limited or the Singapore Turf Club as legal online betting site options due to the restrictions imposed by the Singaporean Government.
In contrast to most Asian countries, the laws in Singapore contradict those of the E.U whereby the country, for all intent and purposes, has a monopoly over all gambling activities. Adding fuel to the fire is the steep fines that offshore operators can face by offering gambling-related services to Singaporeans, and that leaves the task of finding a list of online betting sites in Singapore offering betting services challenging.
However, all is not lost as many top bookmakers, and some of the best online casinos continue to accept Singaporeans by providing a full range of betting options from sports to casino games, virtual sports and more. That ensures they are able to engage in a full range of gaming options and participate in the many promotions that most online betting partners provide as incentives.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
In 1965, after Singapore gained its independence, it in 1967 adopted the Singapore Dollar as its official currency and as such, is the only currency accepted in the country.
The current population in Singapore is 5.815, 859 million. This represents 0.08% of the world’s population and ranks as the 114th most populated country in the world.
According to a 2014 study by the National Council on Problem Gambling, 52% of Singaporean’s report that they have gambled within the last 12 months and that 30% of those who are internet users have placed online bets within the same period. This is an increase of 8% from the previous year with 21% of its population engaging in social gambling, 42% and 18% respectively on state-sanctioned lotteries (4D and Singapore Sweep) and 36% on Toto, another form of lottery.
The Singaporean Casino Regulatory Authority is responsible for managing the operations on casinos licensed with Singapore. Their main objective is to ensure all gambling-related activities remain free of exploitation and criminal influences and that the casinos operate within the boundaries of the law. This includes ensuring the minors are not permitted to gamble, and that those vulnerable to addiction are not harmed. All online gambling activities are regulated under the Remote Gambling Act, which currently, forbids all forms on the internet betting.
Licensed gambling products
Due to the only legal betting products in Singapore being those that are licensed by the state, all those available fall under its control and include the following:
Types of operators
There are only a handful of operators within Singapore that offer betting services. The largest number of those fall into the land-based category with the remaining two offering services online, both of which are both state-owned. This is due to the tightly controlled and strictly regulated laws that govern all forms of betting within the country, regardless whether they operate remotely or not. This limits the available options, and for Singaporeans, the additional cost of having to pay entry levy fees in order to enter those facilities.
The act of online betting in Singapore is illegal based on the Remote Gambling Act 2014 unless as stated, those activities are carried out with Singapore Pools Private Limited or the Singapore Turf Club. This Remote Gambling Act stipulates that all games of chance including poker, bingo, sports betting and fantasy sports betting are prohibited unless the Remote Gambling Act Minister issues an exemption. The act further states that lotteries are only permitted when offered by Singapore Pools Private Limited or the Singapore Turf Club, entities that are owned by the Singapore Totalisator Board, a government-owned statutory board.
The enforcement of gambling activities within Singapore is carried out by the Casino Regulatory Authority, a division within the Ministry of Home Affairs. This unit is supported by the Infocommunications Media Development Authority, whose responsibilities include the blocking of gambling websites, payments to and from gambling related sites and all remote gambling advertising. Therefore, those wishing to gamble in Singapore are restricted to four land-based gambling establishments licensed by the state.
Singapore’s legal system is not one that is welcoming, not to those who enjoy placing bets, nor to those who wish to offer their services from offshore locations. This has unfortunately led to the government implementing harsh fines to those operating offshore, which ultimately has seen a reduction in the number of licensed bookmakers choosing to accept those who reside in Singapore.
In addition to the strict laws governing the legality of online betting, bookmakers are limited in the number of payment options they can accept. This is due to the Singaporean government implementing laws that direct financial institutions to stop payments that are determined to come from remote betting operators.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
Punters living in Singapore are presented with a unique position due to the restrictive laws governing remote gambling that dictates a higher level of caution when selecting an offshore betting partner. Therefore there are a number of requirements that should be considered when choosing where to bet in Singapore. These include:
- Verifying the brand is reputable and licensed by a respected government regulatory authority
- Ensure the brand accepts Singaporeans, and more importantly, has the appropriate number of deposit/withdrawal options needed to fund and withdrawal without restrictions.
- Offers professional support services, preferable in Malay
- Features a wide range of betting markets to ensure your options are not limited, such as sports and casino games.
- Allows Singaporeans to participate fully in its bonuses and on-going promotions
Leading Online Bookmakers in Singapore
Considering the climate towards offshore betting establishments in Singapore, surprisingly, there are still multiple international gambling companies offering betting services to Singaporeans. The positive side to this is it removes the worry of playing with non-licensed establishments, a risk many in the country take, and ensures a steady flow of entertainment options. The brands we have listed below each are vying for the attention of the Singaporean market and offer bonuses for Singapore customers.
Founded in Melbet has grown to become a premier online destination since its inception in 2012. Known for featuring a wide selection of sports events and an equally impressive range of betting options, it includes in-play betting through its live bets section, esports, live slots, bingo and a variety of other casino games designed to provide a fully-featured betting experience. With an extensive range of funding methods and an equally large number of promotions, it is offered in 44 languages including Malay.
The Russian company 1xBet has experienced unparalleled in the last few years, in part due to is providing one of the most extensive collections of sports markets that not only encompasses those most popular but also less-known sports and choices towards entertainment and the weather. Complementing its extensive sportsbook, 1xBet features online poker, bingo, virtual sports, a live casino, traditional casino as well as fantasy sports, lottery and cryptocurrency exchange. It is offered in more than 40 languages, including Malay, and can be viewed in several different formats.
Dafabet is another betting partner catering to the Singaporean market. Established in 2004, and based in Hong Kong, it includes sports betting, live dealer, casino gaming, arcade games, virtuals, lottery and poker. With its focus being towards the Asian and European market, its promotions are designed with an international flair and include deposit and cashback bonuses, prediction challenges and for its most loyal, a VIP Bronze program. An extremely well-optimised Dafabet mobile version is available for the punters who prefer to bet using their phones or tablet.
Bonuses for Singaporean Players
In a marketplace that operates under some of the most competitive conditions with new betting sites propping up on a near-daily basis, Singaporean players have the unbridled ability to maximise their resultant online bookmaking experience with what seems at times like a never-ending supply of bonuses. This extends beyond the traditional welcome offers most will advertise in hopes of enticing new players and includes an assortment of on-going bonuses for existing members that ultimately increase the value received. For sports punters, this includes goodies such as reload bonuses, free bets, enhanced ACCA’s and guaranteed odds, while those preferring to enjoy all an online casino offers can look forward to free spin offers, reload bonuses, free tournaments entries and more.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Singapore
Many may find it interesting that one of the most popular sports in Singapore is badminton. This is closely followed by table tennis and football, and like the United Kingdom, cricket and rugby. However, while some may not be high on the list of international sports, Singaporeans have a strong attraction to a broad range of sports that covers everything from Formula 1 to snooker. Also attracting interest is the following sports:
- Formula 1 racing
- Horse Racing
- Motor Racing
- Table Tennis
Are Online Casinos Popular in Singapore?
The legality of online gambling being as it is in Singapore, gathering reliable statistics relating to its popularity is somewhat tricky. While there are two state sanctions online betting sites, exact information on the number of people gambling at either is not readily available. However, there is little doubt to its popularity with many offshore betting sites electing to offer a variety of services to Singaporeans, with those ranging from sports betting and table games to traditional casino gaming such as slots.
Trivia/Did you know that…
- the legal age to gamble online in Singapore is 21
- in 2014, 52% of Singaporeans participated in some form of gambling activity, whether that is at an online betting site, licensed gaming establishment or with friends and family
- less than 1% of the population in Singapore report being addicted to gambling
- those that regularly gamble in Singapore spend an average of $244 per annum with the largest being spent with offshore gambling sites and horse racing
Available Mobile Apps
Singapore, as it is with other countries, has the ability to access multiple options when it comes to connecting to mobile gaming sites. That is partly due to advances in technology, but also that they live in a society that seems focused on maintaining a rapid pace. Their desire to connect remotely is one well cemented within their culture, both for entertainment purposes, but also within their professional lives. As such, those wishing to access mobile betting sites will find both mobile apps and mobile browser-based portals that offer them access to an extensive range of betting products that are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. This includes promotional offers, member support services, banking solutions and more.
Supported Payment Methods
Online bookmakers servicing the needs of the Singaporean market offer a reasonably large number of payment solutions that are popular both locally and internationally. This range encompasses the usual gamut of credit card solutions, various e-wallets such as Paypal and Skrill, several direct banking deposit methods as well as for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The most popular of those, under the current climate in Singapore, is Bitcoin as it provides privacy and avoids the potential of having payments intercepted by national financial institutions.
When playing at any state-licensed gambling establishments, any winnings resultant from those activities are tax-free. However, the state does tax casino operators based on their gross gaming revenue at a rate that ranges from 12 to 22%. This is resultant on the state applying two tax rates, one based on premium players, which is 5% and the other being non-premium players, which carries a taxation rate of 15%. The definition of a premium player is one that maintains an account with the casino that exceeds $100,000 Singapore dollars. In addition to the taxes mentioned, the state also applies 7% goods and services tax on any revenue resultant from gaming revenue.
As a Singaporean player, am I safe to register with a sportsbook that is located offshore?
The laws governing remote gambling make registering or placing wagers with offshore operators illegal. However, that has not prevented a large number of bookmakers from offering their services within Singapore. Therefore, if you are able to access a particular sportsbook and register an account, you are safe to do so while bearing in mind, this is not legally supported based on current legislation.
If I register and deposit with one of your preferred sportsbooks, how long will it take for my deposit to reflect in my account, and when withdrawing, how long it will take to receive my winnings?
Unless depositing via bank wire, most deposits will reflect in your account immediately upon it being approved by the method you have chosen to fund your account with. In respect to withdrawals, this will be dependent on your preferred method of payment. Generally if withdrawing to an e-wallet, times will vary from 0-2 hours to as much as 48, while those opting for other alternatives may experience waiting periods of up to 7 business days.
What is the legal age for gambling-related activities in Singapore?
The legal age is 18. However, this is a bit confusing as those under the age of 18 may enter land-based gaming establishments as long as they do not enter the gaming floor. In respect to online betting sites, most will adhere to the age of consent within the jurisdiction it is operating with. Therefore, for all intent and purposes, the legal age of consent is 18.
I live in Singapore, will I be restricted to certain promotions?
Generally, no. The majority of the betting site will not impose promotional limitations towards those that reside in Singapore. Simply put it is bad business to do so and the only exception to this is if the bookmaker disallows participation based on specific payment methods such as Neteller or Skrill.
I notice many of the bonuses I see with online sportsbooks include a long list of terms and conditions. Is it worth my time reading through these?
Yes, very important. The terms and conditions of any particular bonus lay out the terms you will be bound by should you chose to accept it. This can relate to the number of times your deposit and subsequent bonus must be wagers to the sit allowed and the type of games permitted. Breaching those terms can and often will see your bonus removed from your account. Any winnings resultant will be removed and in some cases could see you becoming ineligible for other promotional offers.
I noticed that you made a note of several sportsbooks that accept Singaporeans. Is one better than the other?
No, both are equal. While we may personally like one over the other, ultimately they both offer a safe and reliable sportsbook that will provide you with a highly entertaining experience.
I am new to online betting, what is a match bonus, and how does it work?
A match bonus is one that will provide you with a bonus based on the amount you deposited into your account. This will be a specific percentage that is determined in advance by the bookmaker and will include a minimum amount needed to qualify and a maximum amount that can be applied. In most cases, this amount is 100% of the amount deposited, but in some instances, this can be much higher.
The Singaporean state allows them the freedom to pursue the latest gadgetry and access to the internet but continues to disallow its citizens the right to freely choose where and how the gamble as a result of its restrictive laws, meant to force their moral views on its people versus allowing freedom of choice. As a result, many who wish to forgo the added burden of user fees at state-licensed gaming establishments are limited to where they can engage in gambling activities, and in many cases do so under the radar out of fear of possible persecutions. While the state has taken some positive steps forward with the legalisation of online betting, it took two steps back by only permitting it at state-run entities. This limits is ability to be seen as a free society while also limiting gambling as a revenue stream from its taxation.