CRA WORKPLAN SEMINAR 2013
10 May 2013
Speech by Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman CRA
Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran,
Fellow Board Members,
Minister, thank you for your warm words for CRA.
Indeed this has been a busy time for us. Just a checklist of the significant areas in our regulatory remit are these:
- We completed the first full-scope casino inspections.
- The Casino Control Act was amended and regulations made thereunder. The amendment came into effect on 31 January this year. We operationalised the amendments.
- We organised and hosted the annual conference of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) last October bringing over 200 participants from 31 jurisdictions to Singapore.
- We established the Enforcement Branch, which is CRA’s eyes and ears on the ground and ensured integrity of casino gaming and due compliance.
- We launched our own scheme of service.
- We conducted an organisational health survey and a corporate-wide exercise to identify our core Values that enables us to build on our strengths and cure blind spots.
- We conducted extensive investigations into the suitability of the two casinos to have the licences extended for another three years.
- We promulgated the full mandatory display of Player Information on all the Electronic Gaming Machines to allow players know the probability of winning combinations. Full compliance of such display will be in effect on 1 October 2013.
ON THE CASINO INSPECTIONS
Casino inspections are a necessary process of regulatory governance. Basically, casino operators must comply with the Casino Control Act and its Regulations, the licensing requirements, internal controls and approved game rules. This process took us nine
months and over 20 officers from various divisions in CRA were involved. We had to be meticulous in our inspection.
By and large, the casino operators have complied with the requirements of implementing an approved system of internal controls. But there is room for further improvement. The casino operators took steps to enhance their compliance and accountability frameworks.
We will of course hold both casino operators accountable to implementing the improvements and compliance frameworks.
I would like to congratulate the casino inspection team on the completion of the first full-scope inspection of the two casinos.
POISED FOR THE NEXT PHASE
So, what’s next for CRA?
The casino and the gaming industry is dynamic. There are new games, new game rules and new products with increasing addictiveness. The industry is reviving the arcade games into becoming casino-centric games. There is now an interfacing and crossover
of land based with online gambling and vice versa.
Social gaming, which includes Facebook and Twitter gaming is becoming popular in other jurisdictions. Hence, the significance of Minister’s statement on online gambling. Online soccer betting is also getting prevalent. It is also in the industry that
some of the gaming products are multi lingual and adaptive to the player’s culture. Certainly, we must stay ahead of the game and keep abreast of the rapid changes in the industry.
As such, the theme for this year’s workplan seminar is "Pioneers. Stewards. Leaders." This should poise us for the next phase in our governance.
PIONEERS. STEWARDS. LEADERS.
CRA faced various challenges in its early days when it entered the unknown territory of regulating casinos in Singapore. We were pioneers, in this domain in many ways.
We need to keep this pioneering spirit in the next phase of our regulatory governance. This pioneering spirit is also to evolve, together with other regulators, a new land based casino industry ethos and a casino business which is acutely responsive to
a culture of compliance to achieve a crime free and responsible gambling environment.
We must also proactively overcome any challenges we may face in the industry. If we stand still, we will all fall as stewards of the mission to protect Singapore and Singaporeans.
We would need to be able to work, lead or co-lead with other regulators and influence, over the course of time, certain aspects of the industry as they affect us. One area that immediately comes to mind is the establishment of regulatory standards of
product allurements and the conduct of research on the impact of casino gaming. Standard setting is a strategic aspect of regulatory governance.
In this regard, I am sure you have read the 2 May 2013 Press Release on the Taiwanese Tourist Casino Management Act. It says, in part, "Given that tourist gaming is a new, complex and high risk industry, Premier Jiang Yi-huah instructed that the government
learn from Singapore, which applies rigid control, ... [and]...gaming policies, including its stringent social safeguard policies."
CRA has to continue to understand our operating domain better and to look into emerging trends around the world.
We must continually invest in the capacity of our people to go beyond our day to day routine capabilities and to also develop new skills and competencies in areas that are relevant to our regulatory work.
To ensure that we stay the course in the years ahead, we need to be directed by a clear moral compass and anchored by the right set of values.
Values stand at the very core of our decision-making. We are better performers when we know that our personal values are aligned with our organisational culture. When our values are aligned, we look forward to our work, we bring energy and enthusiasm
to the workplace. And we are able to see the importance of the role we play in the organisation.
I understand that the management team has put great effort to seeking the views of all CRA officers on the appropriate guiding values for CRA as we chart our paths ahead. 5 key values were identified. They are:
- Pioneering Spirit; and
To help officers remember these values succinctly, the CEO and his officers have brilliantly come up with the contraction: "I Care about My Professional and Pioneering Team", underpinned by integrity which is in the initial phrase of "I care...".
These 5 values will guide us through the years ahead, and ensure that CRA remains a resilient organisation. They encapsulate how we want others to see CRA, and on an individual level, how we identify our respective roles within CRA.
I have made several attempts in the course of this year to meet you and better understand the challenges you face on the ground and I greatly value the open and candid conversations we have with the directors and officers on the ground. I am heartened
by your dedication, professionalism and commitment you showed when you shared on your roles and the work you do in CRA.
This has been one of the busiest years for the Board members since the opening of the casinos. Now, I would like to thank my Board members who have worked hard and closely with me at these meetings.
I would like to single out the long suffering Board members: Mr Benedict Cheong, Mr Lim Lee Meng, Mr Gerald Singham, Mr Ernest Wong and Mr David Wong, who sit on the CRA Board since its inception in 2008.
And on behalf of the board, I want to extend my warmest welcome to a new Board member, Mr Chua Kim Leng. As the Executive Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Kim Leng’s deep industry expertise on financial services will be instrumental to
CRA in the carrying out of its mission.
I thank each and every one of you and look forward to your continued support.