Nolimit City releases “Blood & Shadow”, a slot game

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The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) in Singapore, a new regulator for gambling, has announced that it does not intend to legalize cryptocurrency use within its land-based gaming sector. Instead, it will continue to investigate the use crypto across video games and social gaming platforms.

As if continuing Singapore’s opposition to cryptocurrency being introduced across wider society, GRA General Counsel Albert Yeo said last week at a regulatory gathering in Sydney that crypto was one the key issues the regulator is currently investigating – especially as it applies to new technology.

There are currently no plans to allow cryptocurrency use in Singapore’s two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands or Resorts World Sentosa.

Yeo stated that he believes there is not enough demand for casinos during the Regulating the Game conference. It is very volatile in terms its revenue stream.

“Internally, the idea is to not allow it to start with or even to allow it in the door. It is difficult to stop an idea once you begin entertaining it.

“I don’t know if there’s a legislative framework that would permit us to do this anyway, but we are investigating it and looking at where it is sneaking in and making sure that it doesn’t infiltrate the Singapore casinos.”

The new GRA was established last year to replace and oversee the entire Singapore gambling industry. The Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore stated that the GRA would allow the Government to be more ahead of technological and gambling trends and respond to emerging gambling products more efficiently, as well as to take a more comprehensive and consistent approach to gambling policies.

Yeo stated that cryptocurrency is “one of the main topics we are currently considering” due to the difficulties regulators have in tracking blockchain transactions. However, much of their attention is now on the online space, specifically the use crypto in video and social gaming.

Yeo stated, “We are aware that it is a new market and we engage the developers ourselves, trying to understand the products’ meaning.”

Yeo pointed to “Axie Infinity”, a popular online game where players can trade NFTs for RAT currency (Rare Antiquities Token). Yeo said, “The problem we are wrestling with is whether this is money, money equivalent, or any value.”

“We won’t normally worry about it if it’s in-game, but the problem with players earning cryptocurrency is that they can easily take it out and place it on exchanges.

“So, we are engaging developers – Singapore is trying encourage game developers in Singapore but also we are looking at the future of cryptocurrency. Are we able to predict where it will go?

The wider reluctance of Singapore to regulate cryptocurrency trading or use currently extends to a ban against advertising by crypto-exchanges. In response to the highly publicized collapse of global exchange FTX, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a statement in November last year in which it stated, “The most important lesson is that dealing with any cryptocurrency, on any platform is dangerous.”

“Crypto-exchanges can and do make a mistake. Even if a crypto-exchange is licensed in Singapore it would only be regulated to deal with money-laundering risk and not to protect investors. This approach is similar to that used in most other jurisdictions.

“Further,” “Further, even though a crypto exchange is managed well, cryptocurrencies themselves can be highly volatile and many have lost all their value.” As a reminder, the constant turmoil in the crypto market serves to remind us of the enormous risks involved in dealing with cryptocurrencies.

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