Cessation of Jackpot Operations at the Singapore Premier League (SPL) Clubs
Response to parliamentary question on the rationale for ceasing jackpot operations at SPL clubs and whether the Ministry will provide subsidies to mitigate this loss of income
08 November 2022
- In July 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs tightened the regulatory regime for jackpot, or fruit machine (FM), operations to curb availability of FMs and strengthen social safeguards against gambling. Under this regime, clubs would only be allowed to provide FMs as an ancillary offering to their members, within a wider suite of substantive recreational and social facilities and services, and not a major offering in itself.
- Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs with FM operations did not meet this revised criteria. Clubs in general, did not provide any other recreational offerings or services other than FMs. Some of the SPL clubs had a high dependence on the FM operations for their revenue. With the new rules, SPL clubs would have to give up their FM operations completely. However, the clubs were given a grace period within which to gradually wind down their FM operations. This was to assist the clubs, so that they did not have to completely cease FM operations immediately.
- In 2018, the clubs were notified of a transition period, during which time they were required to reduce their FM operations to below a quota of 15 machines by November 2019. On this basis, their permits were then renewed for a year, with no assurance of any subsequent renewal. On 1 November 2022, the permits ceased altogether.
- In addition to the gradual wind-down, to further mitigate the impact of the FMs cessation on the clubs’ core football operations, Sport Singapore (SportSG) will be providing support to eligible SPL clubs in the short-term. SportSG will also be working with the Football Association of Singapore and the clubs to develop a more financially sustainable operating model going forward.
- Under the Gambling Control Act (GCA) which came into force on 1 August 2022, any person who wishes to operate a gaming machine room would need to apply for a license from the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore (GRA) and meet the licensing criteria.
Last updated on 08 November 2022