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Report of the Law Reform Committee on Online Gaming and Singapore


In 1999, the World Lottery Association was formed with the merger of Intertoto

and the International Association of 140 members and one of the cited aims control on the Internet.”22

State of the

Lotteries association

(“AILE”). It had was to “try and get

some some




A “wager” is something, usually a sum of money, which is risked on an

uncertain event.23 Although this definition is broad enough to encompass lotteries, the reference to an uncertain event is more specific, so it becomes more focussed than, for instance, selecting six numbers out of 45 numbers such as in the case of Singapore’s Toto. So in this sense, wager has come to mean the likes of betting on a particular racehorse or greyhound winning a particular race or sports betting.


Horseracing and dog racing


Betting on horse races is one of the oldest forms of pari-mutuel betting. With

the advent of radio and television which can transmit live information to remote sites, it has been possible for bettors not to be physically present at the racetrack to bet on the horse races, and yet be able to follow the race and know the outcome immediately. Most horse races have a merged pari-mutuel pool, with all bets treated as if they were actually placed at a single location. Off-site betting on races began first by the use of the telephone and has now extended to the use of the Internet.


An interesting case study is New York. In 1990, the New York State Legislature

amended the State’s Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Laws to allow telephone betting by both residents and non-residents,24 even though New York’s Penal

25 26 prohibited bookmaking or receiving and forwarding money wagered on horse Law races.


In the US, the situation is somewhat complicated by federal law. The Interstate

Wire Act27 specifically forbids taking bets by interstate telecommunication facilities, which would include the Internet.28 There is an exception – if it is legal to take the bet both at the place where the bet originates and at the place where it is taken.29 In 2000,


Patricia A McQueen, “AILE, Intertoto form one group”, Internal Gaming & Wagering Business (August 1999) at pp 17, 19.

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, see http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wager. NY RAC PARI-M §1012 (1990). NY PENAL LAW §225.05; see also People v Busco (1942) 46 NYS 2d 859. Yee Fen Lim, “Internet Gambling – the US Perspective” (1998) 1 No 8 Internet Law Bulletin 114. 18 USC § 1084. Yee Fen Lim, “Internet Gambling – the US Perspective” (1998) 1 No 8 Internet Law Bulletin 114. Yee Fen Lim, “Internet Gambling – the US Perspective” (1998) 1 No 8 Internet Law Bulletin 114 at 116.


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