New Singapore Gaming Rulings Force SPC Postponement

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      Arpit Jain
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      The Singapore Poker Carnival (SPC) scheduled to take place next month will likely not go ahead if new government rulings regarding the tournament and casinos in Singapore take effect. In late June, the Singapore Government issued two directives barring Singaporeans and permanent residents from entering the SPC tournament and potentially limiting them to just five visits per month to casinos in the country.

      The tightening of its laws comes after the opening of the countryÂ’s first legal poker room at Resorts World Sentosa in May 2012. Coupled with the launch of the Singapore Poker Carnival, originally set for August 2012, it was looking like Singapore was emerging as a promising new poker destination for both cash games and tournaments in Asia. However, the new government directives look to shatter any progress made.

      Promoted by the Singapore Poker Federation, the SPC was launched to bring together several nations of players from Singapore, Japan and China. It features various side events and is headlined by a USD $100,000 fixed prize pool Main Event that has already seen the running of satellites feeding players into the tournament.
      Vince Lau, Singapore Poker Federation President, said, “It’s really a blow. We thought we were moving into a more positive place for poker but now this government ruling is really a setback. Much of the reason we are hosting the SPC is for our local players and to promote poker in Singapore.”

      The Singapore Poker Federation is currently challenging the ruling but, even if successful, the tournament will be postponed from its slated August running.

      “The SPC is a one-time event and shouldn’t be affected by this ruling. We are now appealing the decision,” said Lau. “But August is too soon. Everything is ready – our tables are ready, our chips are ready and we even booked all the air tickets for the Japan team.

      We are trying to postpone it to November.”

      According to the The Straits Times[/I], the proposed government amendments to the Casino Control Act that would see Singaporeans and permanent residents capped to just five casino visits a month are to protect the countryÂ’s problem gamblers. Casino patrons who are recorded as entering the premises more than five times a month may be subjected to a financial records check in order for them to prove they are debt-free.

      “Who we are most concerned with are those who go there frequently and exhibit signs that they are losing control of their gaming habits,” said Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

      ItÂ’s not known what effect this new ruling would have on the future of hosting poker tournaments in Singapore but, with major events often running up to one week, players could conceivably use up more than their monthÂ’s allocation in one event.

      The proposed new changes to limit casino visits for locals are planned to be in effect by June next year.

      Source : pokerportal.asia

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