Its a sad day for Singapore, or is it a day of celebration? Well, depends on your inclinations. For those who gamble, albeit small timers, legalizing online gambling in Singapore spells convenience (Today, 30 September 2016, pages 1-2). No more need to line up at the supermarkets or neighbourhood shops to get that daily/weekly fix of hope.
For the rest of us, it just confirms that we are now in free-fall down that slippery slope when the Singapore government made gambling on 4-D and Toto a respectable pass time and blessed casino gambling. While 4-D and Toto are not as financially draining compared to gambling at the table in Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa, I believe that one feeds on the other, resulting in increased gambling activity. It would appear that, with the latest 'licence', the government has blessed the gambling lifestyle even more. And why not? It rakes in a lot of money for the government coffers from these legalized betting, and will be raking in even more with online gambling. I for one am not enthusiastic of using money gained from gambling to fund social causes.
Sure, people have been betting online for ages, but these have been the exception rather than the rule. With the latest initiative, online gambling will go mainstream in Singapore. Now there is a reason for everyone, including our senior citizens to learn to use the computer, or own a tablet, or what the heck, make better use of their handphone besides sms'ing, facebook'ing and whatsapp'ing. Yeah, there is still this hassle of registering for the use of the online platforms, but considering that people are willing to queue up to buy the draw tickets every week, this will just be a one-time hassle. Heck, it wouldn't be far-fetched for someone to set up a business helping gamblers to fill in the forms and other paperwork so that all the applicant has to do is show up in person to start the ball rolling.
In case the reader is not certain about my stand, I'll be clear. I do not agree with this latest government initiative (whose else can it be?) to permit online gaming. I have added my name to the petition to "Stop the Legalisation of Online Gambling in Singapore".
Please add your name to this petition if you feel the same way. It may not make a difference at the end of the day, but it wouldn't be on our conscience for ignoring the evil that this licence to gamble online really is.