Singapore Premier League • October 5, 2022

Statement on the cessation of SPL clubs’ fruit machine licenses




SINGAPORE, 5 OCTOBER 2022 – We refer to the Straits Times article dated 4 October 2022 on the cessation of Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs’ fruit machine (FM) licences.


The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) wishes to clarify that regulations on FM had been tightened by the authorities as far back as 2017. As FM operations were critical to the clubs’ income generation, the authorities gave SPL clubs more time to transit away from these operations to other sources of income.


During this transition, the clubs were required to reduce their FM operations to below a quota and they were only allowed to renew their license on an annual basis. In other words, there was no guarantee given to clubs that they could continue their FM operations beyond one year at a time.


In November 2021, MCCY and SportSG informed FAS to plan for a cessation of FM operations after 31 October 2022, when the current operating licenses expire. In turn, FAS had discussed with the SPL clubs in sittings over the past one year on these plans. In this regard, it is to be noted that the SPL clubs would and should have been well aware to not enter into any future financial commitments relating to leases of their premises and/or slot machines beyond 31 October 2022.


To assist the clubs to mitigate the impact of the FMs cessation on their core football operations, subventions are being considered for eligible SPL clubs in the short-term. The FAS shall evaluate the subvention requests, before determining the level of support required for each club, if any.


The FAS also wishes to clarify that there has been no decision made with regard to the privatisation of the SPL, or that there will be an extended league season. Discussions with SportSG and other stakeholders are still ongoing.