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Singapore Blocks Online Gambling Sites

Singapore has begun enforcing a ban on online gambling by blocking internet access to several hundred gambling sites.

The Remote Gambling Act, passed through Parliament in October, gives the government broad powers to block access to overseas gambling sites and block electronic payments to their operators.

The country’s banking system has also been advised not to accept any transactions from within the country with the overseas gambling sites being blocked.

Sites such as Paddy Power, ibcbet.com and sbobet.com were blocked with a warning to those trying to sign in.

“Viewing and using this website at your current location is prohibited due to its regulatory rules,” said the message.

Under the new law, exemptions can be granted for locally based online gambling operators that follow strict rules and operate on a nonprofit basis. Lottery operator Singapore Pools told local media it will apply for the exemption.

The new law also makes placing bets on overseas sites punishable by jail terms and fines.