An additional 15,000 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will be excluded from the casinos through third-party casino exclusion, as part of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports’ (MCYS) move to strengthen existing social safeguards and to protect the financially vulnerable from casino gambling.

The third-party casino exclusion, which is administered by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), will be extended to 12,000 recipients of ComCare short to medium term assistance, who are mostly unemployed and/or in financial need; and 3,000 HDB flat tenants paying subsidized rents with rental arrears of 6 months or more. The two groups will be excluded starting July 1 and August 1 respectively.

The intent to extend casino exclusions to the more financially vulnerable was earlier announced by acting minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing in February this year. “We want to protect the financially vulnerable who can ill afford casino gambling,” Chan said. “The 2011 NCPG Gambling Participation Survey showed a small but increasing proportion of low income gamblers who betted large amounts. We want to move proactively to address this.”

In support of MCYS’ latest move, NCPG Chairman Mr Lim Hock San said, “We are heartened to see the government taking measures to protect the financially vulnerable. On its part, NCPG will continue its efforts in creating greater awareness of problem gambling.”

There are currently 28,000 persons who are excluded from the casinos under third-party casino exclusion. They include people still in bankruptcy and those on long term public assistance and special grants.