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Singapore passes anti-gambling bill, downplays its affect on devs

Singapore's Parliament has passed the Remote Gambling Bill, which sparked concern in the legal community based on broad language which could target free-to-play games developed outside the region.
The Strait Times reports that the Parliament of Singapore has passed the Remote Gambling Bill, a piece of regulatory legislation that sparked some concern among members of the legal community based on broad language which could target free-to-play games developed outside the region. Singaporean law firm Stamford Law previously warned that the bill could have dire consequences for free-to-play games, saying it "potentially catches many games, even non-gambling ones," and could potentially "outlaw the 'freemium' model where monetization in primarily via in-app purchases" in the region. Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran later rebuked concerns that the bill would prohibit developers from operating their games in the region, saying that the legislation should not apply to games unless they permit players to "convert in-game credits or tokens for money or real merchandise outside the game." This seems to allow Western free-to-play heavyweights like Rovio to operate in the region without needing to apply for an exemption from the law. However, it may have dire consequences for free-to-play games like Loco Soccer, which Games In Asia notes is a Taiwan-developed free-to-play mobile soccer game that encourages players to pay money to participate in games that offer large real-world payouts to winners.

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