Singapore Pools’ OpenBet deal not linked to RGA exemption bid

Singapore Pools’ OpenBet deal not linked to RGA exemption bid

Friday, July 10, 2015
OpenBet will provide sports betting services to Singapore Pools

Singapore Pools has said that its deal with OpenBet is not related to its application to launch remote gaming in its home nation.

It was announced yesterday (Thursday) that software provider OpenBet had signed a seven-year contract with the operator to provide sports betting products and services.

The news came just a day after Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that it had received an application from Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club (STC) for an exemption to the ban on remote gambling in the country.

However, while some media groups have reported that OpenBet could play an advisory role in Singapore Pools developing remote gambling products, a Singapore Pools spokesperson has told TotallyGaming.com that there is no link between the two developments.

“Singapore Pools needed a replacement for our current sports betting system, which is more than 10 years old,” said the spokesperson. “OpenBet was selected as one of several vendors to develop the replacement. OpenBet was selected from an open Expression of Interest (EOI) exercise initiated in February 2014, more than 16 months ago.

“The replacement of the sports betting system is not related to our application for exemption from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA). However, all proposals submitted by the vendors through the EOI exercise had included remote betting capabilities built-in as part of their solutions.”

Singapore Pools provides legal lottery and sports betting and channels the proceeds to good causes and charity. It is owned by the Tote Board which reports to Singapore’s Ministry of Finance and has a product portfolio of lotto game TOTO, pre-printed lottery game The Singapore Sweep, numbers game 4D, as well as football and motor racing sports betting.

The MHA confirmed that the Pools and STC had applied for certificates of exemption under Section 26 of the RGA to offer remote gambling services for their existing products, with a decision due to take up to 12 months. 

The RGA, which became law in February, introduced strict new measures in curbing online gambling activities through the blocking of ISPs and banking transactions, with tough punishments for those that break the law.

The MHA confirmed that any companies seeking exemption must pass several criteria including that they must be based in Singapore and be a not-for-profit entity.

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