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 As the excitement builds for Euro 2024 in Germany, Singaporean authorities are intensifying their crackdown on illegal and problem gambling during the month-long tournament from June 14 to July 14, according to a report by Channel News Asia.  

In a joint announcement on Wednesday, ’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) reaffirmed their strict policy against unlicenced gambling activities. They emphasised that such activities lack necessary social safeguards, such as spending limits and responsible gambling measures.  

Singapore Pools remains the sole licenced provider for lotteries and sports betting in the country. The ministries underscored that any gambling activities outside of this framework are prohibited.  

“The police will enforce stringent actions against illegal gambling operations, including those aiding gambling syndicates,” stated the ministries. In 2023 alone, authorities carried out over 300 raids, resulting in more than 450 arrests. They also collaborated with stakeholders to disconnect phone numbers promoting illegal gambling and close related bank accounts.  

During the 2021 European Football Championship, a collaborative Interpol-led operation led to the arrest of 72 individuals in Singapore for illegal football gambling. Authorities confiscated over SGD800,000 (€548,480) in cash, along with computers, laptops, and mobile phones. The Gambling Regulatory Authority has also blocked more than 3,400 illegal gambling websites and over 260 bank accounts, seizing more than SGD36 million (€24.68 million) linked to illegal online gambling services.  

Public awareness campaigns  

To coincide with Euro 2024, Singapore’s National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) will bolster their public education and outreach initiatives. Advertisements will be prominently featured on TV, newspapers, digital platforms, and social media to highlight the dangers of excessive football betting.  

Legal consequences and community support  

Authorities strongly advise the public against engaging with illegal gambling operators and encourage practices. The MHA and MSF highlighted the crucial role of family and community in supporting individuals with gambling addictions, urging them to seek help through the National Problem Gambling Helpline or NCPG’s webchat service.  

Legal penalties for conducting illegal gambling operations in Singapore are severe, with fines of up to SGD500,000 (€342,800) and imprisonment for up to seven years for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties, including fines of up to SGD700,000 (€479,920) and imprisonment for up to ten years. Those caught gambling with unlicenced service providers could face fines up to SGD10,000 (€6,856), imprisonment for up to six months, or both. 

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