Singapore to Block Online Gaming Sites But Not Social Games

Under a new Remote Gambling Act, Singapore will block websites that promote online gambling, but has clarified its position on social games, most of which will not be blocked.

Websites offering or promoting online gambling—as well as payment services—will be blocked under Singapore’s new Remote Gambling Act, but social games like Farmville and Candy Crush will be exempted.

The country’s Media Development Authority has calmed fears from social gamers by clarifying the new rules. The authority acknowledged concerns that social games would be blocked and slow development of the gaming industry in Singapore.

But the agency says the new rules do not target games that do not allow players to convert in-game credits to money or real merchandise. In other words, it will not cover social games such as Farmville and Candy Crush Saga in their current forms, MDA stated.

“MDA wishes to reiterate that the Act does not cover games which do not, as part of the game design, enable players to receive money or money’s worth consequent to the outcome of that game,” it stated.

The Remote Gaming Act was passed in Parliament in October and goes into effect this month.