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To legally operate or promote betting and sweepstake activities in Singapore, a person must apply to the Minister for Home Affairs to first get an exemption under the Betting Act or the Common Gaming Houses Act. This application process is to ensure that betting activities do not proliferate and undermine good social values. It is also an offence for any person to place bets with unauthorised persons.

After a person receives the approval from the Minister for Home Affairs and is gazetted by the Minister for Finance as an exempt organisation in the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Order, any amount received on bets by that person will be subject to duty under the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is responsible for the collection of the duty. Generally, the following betting activities are subject to duty in Singapore:

  1. Totalisator or pari-mutuel betting (e.g. Toto, horse racing);
  2. Sports betting (e.g. football betting);
  3. Sweepstakes; and
  4. Any other system or method of cash or credit betting held, promoted, organised, administered or operated by an exempt organisation in the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Order.

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Scope of duty

The Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act imposes duty on:

  1. any betting made on a totalisator or pari-mutuel promoted by an exempt organisation specified by order in the Gazette by the Minister for Finance;
  2. every sweepstake promoted by an exempt organisation specified by order in the Gazette by the Minister for Finance ; and
  3. any betting at fixed odds on any football game or sporting event where the betting is promoted in Singapore by or on behalf of any exempt organisation specified by order in the Gazette by the Minister for Finance .

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Promoter of betting activities

Under the Betting & Sweepstake Duties Act, the promoter is the secretary of the racing club or association that is promoting the betting activity. Currently, authorised promoters include Singapore Totalisator Board and Singapore Pools (Private) Ltd. The promoter is required to draw up and submit a statement of the amount received as bets and amount paid as winnings, together with the amount of duty payable to IRAS by the due date.

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Calculating duty

The duty rate for all betting activities, other than sweepstakes, is 25%. The duty rate for sweepstakes is 30%.

With effect from 1 July 2014, the duty rate for totalisator or pari-mutuel betting (excluding horse racing) and any other system or method of cash or credit betting is 30%. The method of calculating duty remains unchanged. For draws conducted on or after 1 July 2014, the new duty rate will apply.

The method of calculating duty depends on the type of betting activities:

 

Type of betting activities Method of calculating duty

Totalisator or pari-mutuel betting in connection with horse racing

Sports betting (e.g. football betting with fixed odds)

25% x (Amount of bets received - Winnings paid out - GST *)

Totalisator or pari-mutuel betting excluding horse racing (e.g. TOTO)

Any other system or method of cash or credit betting (e.g. 4D and Singapore Sweep)

Up to 30 June 2014
25% x (Amount of bets received - GST *)

With effect from 1 July 2014
30% x (Amount of bets received - GST *) 

Sweepstakes

30% x (Amount contributed towards the sweepstake - GST *)

*GST = 7/107 x (amount of bets received - winnings paid out)

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Reporting and paying duty

The promoter has to submit the statement of the amount received as bets and amount paid as winnings, together with the amount of duty payable to IRAS by the due date. The due date for submission depends on the type of betting activities:

  • For totalisator on horse racing, the promoter has to submit the statement and duty payable within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) of the last day of the race meeting at which the bets were made.
  • For sports betting, the promoter has to submit the statement and duty payable within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) after the date on which the football game or sporting event in respect of which the bet is made takes place.
  • For sweepstakes, the promoter has to submit the statement and duty payable within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) after the date on which the winners in that sweepstake are ascertained.
  • For other types of betting activities (e.g. 4D, TOTO), the promoter has to submit the statement and duty payable within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) after the draw date relating to the bets.

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Penalties

If the promoter fails to deliver the statement by the due date, he may on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding $500. IRAS may also compound this offence by collecting from a person reasonably suspected of having committed this offence a sum not exceeding $250.

If the promoter attempts to defraud the government by failing to deliver the statement or delivers a false statement, he may on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or four times the amount of duty payable, whichever is the higher. IRAS may compound this offence by collecting from a person reasonably suspected of having committed this offence a sum not exceeding double the amount of duty payable or $5,000, whichever is less.

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FAQ's

 

Q1. What is a 'bet'?

A 'bet' is the staking of money or other value on the event of a doubtful issue, e.g. a horse race, a football match.

'Pari-mutuel' is the French word for 'totalisator'. It is a machine that can automatically add up all the stakes received and determines the distribution of the winnings. For example, it adds up the total value of bets received on a particular horse and divides this figure by the number of bets placed to arrive at the dividends (pay-out) payable.

Last Updated on 21 October 2014


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