More consultation needed before allowing online gambling

I was dismayed to read that Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club have been allowed to provide platforms for punters to place bets online ("Online betting to be introduced in next 2 months"; Sept 30).

Shouldn't there have been greater consultation between the Government, citizens, and grassroots, religious and welfare organisations before letting these two operators provide the service?

It is important that the citizenry be consulted on issues such as gambling, which is generally seen as a social ill.

The Government says there will be safeguards in place to mitigate the negative impact of online gambling.

However, no one can safely say that these measures will succeed in preventing gambling addiction, or that individuals will not go bankrupt if they bet through these two operators frequently.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong