We thank Mr Stanley Heok Jun Jie for his letter (New casino policies needed to curb addiction, Nov 21).
Singapore takes a practical approach towards gambling. A complete ban would drive gambling underground.
We therefore allow some forms of gambling, and in controlled environments. Our approach aims to minimise illegal gambling, as well as the social harms from gambling.
Our social safeguard measures include age limits and exclusion orders for gambling in casinos and gaming machine rooms, and remote gambling accounts.
There are also regulatory requirements for the casinos to implement responsible gambling measures, as well as restrictions on gambling advertisements and promotions.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) conducts public education on problem gambling and to advise people to gamble within their means.
Our approach to protecting vulnerable individuals and families has been effective. The incidence of probable pathological and problem gambling has remained stable at around 1 per cent.
The Government will continue to review and improve our social safeguards. We urge individuals who need help with problem gambling to call the NCPG Helpline on 1800-6-668-668 or webchat www.ncpg.org.sg
Director, Gambling Safeguards Division
Ministry of Social and Family Development
Ng Li Sa (Dr)
Director, Policy Development Division
Ministry of Home Affairs