Singapore Expats Forum

Fun casino business

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Fun casino business

Postby ORS » Fri, 18 Aug 2006 9:05 pm

Hi,

Am moving to Singapore later this year. At the moment in the UK I organise fun casino evenings in my spare time. The concept is that I get paid a set fee from a company, for corporate events or christmas parties etc.. for the hire of my casino tables and dealers. We come along to the event set up a casino for a few hours, all the guest play for free then at the end of the night ther person who has the higest amount of chips wins a prize, supplied by said company.

My question is, obviously in the UK, this is completely legal as it doesn't involve acutal real gambling and no money changes hands for chips.... Will this considered a problem in Singapore? Also I have a worry that I ship over my tables, chips etc and they get caught up in customs cause they may think I am using them for real gambling. Is there a process for finding out if this is likely?

As I already have the tables etc, thought I'd try it out when we move to Singapore, nothing to loose as we're not paying for shipping!

Thanks

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Sun, 20 Aug 2006 4:56 pm

Interesting. My quick, non-lawyerly reading of the Common Gaming Houses Act (http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/) is that what you propose is illegal, as

"gaming" , with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means the playing of any game of chance or of mixed chance and skill for money or money’s worth; ...

Offences.
4. —(1) Any person who —

(e) conducts in or through any newspaper or any other periodical publication, or in connection with any trade or business or the sale of any article to the public —

(ii) any other competition success in which does not depend to a substantial degree upon the exercise of skill,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $50,000 and shall also be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years.


But the key term is is public, and I don't see anything that prohibits the mere possession of gambling equipment (which also explains why you can buy a mahjong set in Chinatown). I'd hire a competent lawyer to find out the answer if the gear is expensive and/or you're going to try to run this as a business.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Postby ORS » Mon, 21 Aug 2006 1:22 am

God.... sounds scary!!!! I thought maybe they might be relaxing a bit because of the new casino being built there? It does worry me as the equipment is worth quite a bit. Usually the prizes amount to a bottle of champagne or similar, we have to be quite careful here to make sure there is no intention to gamble and it is just for fun. I'll see if I can find a lawyer who knows about this kind of thing.....???

Thanks x

ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Postby ORS » Mon, 21 Aug 2006 6:50 pm

Hi Tuk Boy,

I can't reply to your IM cause I'm new to the site.

Obviously this is a delicate area to be investigated fully. If it comes about that all would be fine, I would be looking for dealers. If this happens I will post in the classified section at that time, so keep an eye out in 6 months or so?

Can you deal already or would you need training?

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Mon, 21 Aug 2006 7:37 pm

ORS wrote:God.... sounds scary!!!! I thought maybe they might be relaxing a bit because of the new casino being built there?

This is Singapore we're talking about here, use of the word "relax" will get you fined and caned :o

More seriously, the casinos are legislated separately in the Casino Control Act, which basically says that licensed casinos can ignore all other legislation -- but you're not a licensed casino and there were no changes to the existing laws.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Postby ORS » Mon, 21 Aug 2006 9:55 pm

That was a good link, cheers for that. Reading through it, it's very clear on the subject of betting and betting houses/casinos etc... The fact that we purely charge for the hire of the tables and to deal the games in a private party enviroment at no fixed address and then guests play a free game, it didn't seem to cover.....This leads me to think that they might not have encountered this and therefore would just be a down right NO! I'll still check it out though. Thanks again for the advice .

User avatar
briceloh
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun, 03 Oct 2004

Postby briceloh » Mon, 21 Aug 2006 10:38 pm

Simple, if your gambling stuffs can get through custom, then you can do what ever you want. As long as nobody complains to the police about you gambling. There are so many aunties and uncles playing mahjong everyday, don't see any of them get arrested, right?

So, do things discretely and don't disturb your neighbours, and you can have a good time playing what you like.
IBMing

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Tue, 22 Aug 2006 10:07 pm

briceloh wrote:Simple, if your gambling stuffs can get through custom, then you can do what ever you want. As long as nobody complains to the police about you gambling. There are so many aunties and uncles playing mahjong everyday, don't see any of them get arrested, right? So, do things discretely and don't disturb your neighbours, and you can have a good time playing what you like.

Did you read the OP's post? It's not a hobby to run at home, he wants to run this as a business and have companies pay for the service.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

User avatar
briceloh
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun, 03 Oct 2004

Postby briceloh » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:37 am

jpatokal wrote:Did you read the OP's post? It's not a hobby to run at home, he wants to run this as a business and have companies pay for the service.


Hmm..... :-k #-o
IBMing

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34261
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 9:57 am

I think you'll find that it is illegal. While it is not illegal to play majong, it is illegal for a person or company to set up a "gambling den" that provides the games, chips/tokens, and/or prizes/money/cashiers. Witness the vast numbers of Gaming Dens (playing majong, the local card game - can't think of the name, blackjack and a few others) that were being raided in some of the Balister Road condos a few years back (JP you should remember those - you've been here around 4 or 5 years haven't you?)

While the Government is "opening up" a wee bit it it tightly controlled - e.g., the Casino Act to which JP talks and the monopoly that Singapore Pools has.

sms

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 5:15 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I think you'll find that it is illegal. While it is not illegal to play majong, it is illegal for a person or company to set up a "gambling den" that provides the games, chips/tokens, and/or prizes/money/cashiers. Witness the vast numbers of Gaming Dens (playing majong, the local card game - can't think of the name, blackjack and a few others) that were being raided in some of the Balister Road condos a few years back (JP you should remember those - you've been here around 4 or 5 years haven't you?)

Yabbut those were actual gambling dens with no licenses of any sort and where the winners got real money. (And, based on the number of people slurping BKT in the middle of the night, I'd wager some of them are still running along just fine...)

That said, I agree with what you're saying -- I just don't see the bureaucrats being willing to take a risk on this.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 11:15 pm

This is quite a complexed business opportunity, that does require government clearance, I believe the present laws are clear cut, and that is to say, no gambling for Cash prizes.

However i have heard of ways around it, and the fact that one, is not playing for cash, but for , lets say tokens, that you can redeem for prizes, does not break any gambling laws. There are many instances around the world where this is exceptable. many clubs and even fairgrounds do it this way. Never pay out in cash! and you break no gambling law, and I believe you don't even need a licence.

Again for corporate entertainment, there are many things to cover, like fire risk, insurance, and maybe a licence is needed for contol.

Bingo Halls, that pay out in prizes, do not require a gambling licence, and one pays for the game!!! So there is a chance that it is legal in Singapore, Only direct communication with the proper authority can answer this, and/or give the clearnce to go ahead, either way, you need documentation, to protect yourself.

I would say you only need the legal help, if you get a refusal on your enquiry for approval, for a document to actually say, you cannot do it. It doesn't help if the office says, yes go ahead it fine, you can do it. The following month you get busted.

So you do need in writing a yes or no,, before deciding on legal help, why throw money out of the window, if there is no need.

ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Postby ORS » Thu, 24 Aug 2006 6:37 pm

I'm coming out to Singapore next week, for a week, Can anyone reccomend a lawyer who may know about this? May as well try and find out for sure whilst I'm there?

Cheers

User avatar
James**
Regular
Regular
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed, 14 Sep 2005

Postby James** » Sat, 09 Sep 2006 11:56 pm

This is already done in some private functions by event organisers who organise pseudo casino nights where no money is involve and guest receive chips instead to play.
is this what you are talking about,

:)

ORS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Postby ORS » Mon, 11 Sep 2006 5:28 pm

Yep, Thats the kind of thing I do.......Have been in contact with a couple of those entertainment agents and they've said they would hire me, which is encouraging, subject of course to getting the correct employment documents in order. I'd obviously make more money if I could set up on my own but thats something to look into at a later date.

Visited Singapore last week and really liked it so looking forward to moving over.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Business in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests