Memo: Proposed Changes to Casino Control Act

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COR 160
ESSENTIAL ACADEMIC WRITING SKILLS

TMA 02

Name: Khin Sein Yu Khaing
Student ID: H1270622

MEMO

TO:Joyce Lim, Director of Department of Policies, Ministry of Home Affairs FROM:Ivy Teo, Executive of Department of Policies, Ministry of Home Affairs DATE:28 September 2012
SUBJECT:Proposed Changes to the Casino Control Act

As you have requested, this report discusses the analysis and results of research on tackling social issues of gambling and Casino Control Act. This report details the effectiveness of enacted measures, the possible policy gap and the recommendations.

The Government has set up a national framework to tackle problem gambling. Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) and National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) are formed. CRA monitors and regulates Casinos according to Casino Control Act (CCA) as well as engaging with Government and public to formulate and strengthen the existing regulatory framework to enhance the social safeguards. On the other hand, NCPG engages more directly with public to formulate educational framework to reduce problem gambling as well as gauge effectiveness of programs, such as treatment, counseling etc. NCPG works with National Addiction Management Services (NAMS) to gauge level of treatment and counseling needed, especially for gambling addiction. CRA has censured and fined both casinos for violating social safeguards within the frame-work. NCPG has also embarked on advertising and educational materials to public- focusing on harmony and security of family as core reason to stay away from problem gambling.

The strongest social safeguards, however, sit in sections of CCA, which targets the patrons and gamblers themselves. The focal point will be the exclusion orders, which can be self-applied or family applied or automatically excluded for residents obtaining social welfare. As of May 2012, there are 93,000 people have been prescribed under this law and are barred from entering the casinos. This is very helpful in preventing vulnerable person, may it be financially or psychologically to gambling, as well as protecting families from experiencing the consequences. Next strong prevention is the requirement of entry levy of 100 for local residents to enter into Casino for 24 hours. This makes Singaporeans think twice before entering into a casino..

The effectiveness of these educational outreach and slews of these measures can be seen in drop of overall gambling participation in 2011 survey done by MCYS and NCPG. With the exception of online gambling, other gambling activities are not recognized as leisure activities by more participants than compared to 2008 Survey. This is a heartening indication of lesser people are being drawn into gambling. However, there is an increase in average bet size. This means that gamblers are taking more risky and larger bets than 2008. This is also mentioned in an article "The biggest losers" in The Economist May 2011 print. Singapore is the second in world in terms of bet size measured proportionally to resident population. This may indicate that vulnerable group, the problem gamblers, is engaging in higher risk. This could also be a consequent of the very CCA, which has allowed more affluent residents to take larger bets and with minimal control. Hence, the results are skewed into larger monetary values.

Even though the laws are ensuring maximum protection to the low-income gamblers, there are obvious areas of opportunities to further enhance the framework. For individual who are able to afford 2000 levy fees, they can be in casino anytime. The only protection for them is the exclusion order, which they or their family member must apply. This group of people could be better protected. The social safeguard has been very much focus on gambling in casino but these alternatives, such as TOTO and 4D, are not given much consideration. They are very much accessible to anyone and...
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