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. 

IRAS is responsible for the collection of the betting and sweepstake duties.

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.

Calculating Betting and Sweepstake Duties

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.

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

Type of Betting ActivitesMethod 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)

Effective 1 Jul 2014 **
30% x (Amount of bets received - GST *)

Up to 30 Jun 2014
25% 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)

** The method of calculating duty for totalisator or pari-mutuel betting remains unchanged. For draws conducted on or after 1 Jul 2014, the new duty rate will apply.

Promoters of Betting Activities

Under the Betting and Sweepstake Duties Act, the promoter is the secretary of the racing club or association promoting the betting activity.

Currently, authorised promoters include Singapore Totalisator Board and Singapore Pools (Private) Ltd.

Obligation of Promoters to Submit Statement and Pay Duty

Promoters are required to submit the following to IRAS by the due date:

  1. Statement of the amount received as bets and amount paid as winnings; and
  2. Amount of duty payable to IRAS.

Due Dates for Submitting Statement and Paying Duty

Type of Betting ActivitiesSubmit Statement and Duty Payable
Totalisator on horse racingWithin 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) of the last day of the race meeting at which the bets were made
Sports bettingWithin 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 
SweepstakesWithin 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) after the date on which the winners in that sweepstake are ascertained
Other types of betting activities (e.g. 4D, TOTO)Within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) after the draw date relating to the bets 

Penalties

Late filing or non-filing of Statement

You will face enforcement actions for any late or non-filing of Statement. The filing due date is within 15 days (or such further period allowed by IRAS) of the betting activities.

Consequences for late or non-filing of Statement

Failure to file the statement by the due date is an offence.

IRAS may take the following enforcement actions if you fail to file by the due date: 

  1. Offer to compound the offence
  2. Impose a fine of up to $50

Offer of composition

Instead of taking prosecution actions, IRAS may allow you to avoid prosecution by paying a composition amount.

The composition amount is a sum up to $250 and the amount is dependent on the promoter’s past filing and payment records. A notice will be sent to inform you of the composition amount. You must pay the composition amount and file the Statement by the due date to avoid prosecution. 

Paying the composition amount

Bring along the payment slip when paying the composition amount at any Singapore Post outlet or pay by Singapore cheque, crossed and made payable to the "Comptroller of Income Tax", with your full name and tax reference number written on the reverse side of the cheque. Post the cheque and the payment slip to IRAS.

The payment will be processed after 3 working days.  

Legal actions may still be taken against you if you do not file the statement after paying the composition amount. The payment made will be used to settle any unpaid tax.

Appealing for waiver of composition amount

Appeals can be made via email to [email protected]. Appeals will only be considered if: 

  1. You have submitted the statement by the due date stated in the offer of composition; and
  2. 2. You have filed the statement on time for the past 2 years

Fraudulent or false statement

You will face enforcement actions if you attempt to defraud the Government by failing to deliver the statement or by delivering a false statement.

Consequences for fraudulent or false statement

The submission of a fraudulent or false statement is an offence. 

IRAS may take the following enforcement actions:  

  1. Offer to compound the offence 
  2. Impose a fine of up to $1,000 or four times the amount of duty payable, whichever is higher

Offer of composition

IRAS may compound this offence by collecting from a person reasonably suspected of having committed this offence a sum of up to double the amount of duty payable or $5,000, whichever is less.

FAQs

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).

Q2. What is 'pari-mutuel' or 'totalisator'?

'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 (payout) payable.

Q3. How much betting and sweepstake duties has IRAS collected?

Please refer to appendices to IRAS' Annual Report for the duties collection.