Singapore’s authorities are dedicating their efforts to eliminate illegal gambling across the country, which could be accomplished with the help of regular raids and on-site inspections. The latest bust saw a large crowd of 31 people from almost all age groups nabbed by the authorities due to their alleged participation in illegal horse betting activities.
Illegal gambling is a practice which should be completely eliminated from the island country, but recent months have proved that this will not be an easy task. In an official statement issued this Tuesday, the Criminal Investigation Department announced that this Sunday witnessed an extensive investigation across the state.
In a major operation aiming to bring results, police officers of the department teamed up with the divisions to the liking of Ang Mo, Bedok, Clementi, Jurong, Tanglin, and the Central one.
Illegal Sports Betting Battle Ongoing
The investigation operation itself covered some of the areas with most traffic, such as King George’s Avenue, Teban Gardens Road, Whampoa Drive, Ang Mo Kio, Eunos, and Boon Lay. The individuals arrested during the raid reached some 31 in total, 27 of which males. The evidence showing that there had been illegal betting taking place on site was in the form of betting records featuring details regarding the wagers placed.
In addition to the said records, authorities were also able to obtain some S$15,000 in cash available on sites of alleged illegal sports betting shops. It is supposed that they were utilized for the gambling activity and provided by players. Soon after the arrests occurred interrogations commenced, striving to provide more details regarding the illegal operation of the betting ring.
According to the information received up to this point, the detained individuals have been taking a wide variety of positions within the structure of the illegal gambling organization. Just like in every ring dedicated to sports betting, there were people responsible for accepting and paying off bets, runners, as well as people placing their wagers. In the upcoming weeks, the area would continue seeing an investigation of the subject. The arrested people were aged ranging from 45 to 78 years old.
Regulations Guarantee Dire Penalties
What should be noted is that the Betting Act currently regulating the field appoints severe fines and penalties for gambling enthusiasts disobeying the law. There are fines reaching S$5,000 as well as jail time of up to 6 months for those who place their wagers, unlike law-abiding citizens, but with the help of a bookie. Furthermore, for individuals acting as bookmakers, the penalties reach up to S$200,000 with the potential of some five years behind bars.
According to the Remote Gambling Act which has been providing the needed regulation of the field, players in Singapore are allowed to wager only at two websites – the one of Singapore Pools, as well as the Singapore Turf Club web page. Players have the chance to participate in betting activities such as Toto and 4D, as well as wager on soccer events, F1, and horse racing.
Any other form of gambling which involves a technology such as mobile phones, WhatsApp, the Internet or even a TV is strictly prohibited and considered far from legal. In addition to that, bookmakers are also considered illegal and prosecuted by the law. This is not the first time when Singapore has seen a major bust on illegal betting.
— Yahoo Singapore (@YahooSG) July 5, 2018
It could be recalled, that earlier this summer during the 2018 FIFA World Cup another state-wide operation raked up some S$1.2 million in cash, placed as wagers. Again 31 people were arrested, but this time the youngest bettor was aged 22, whereas the oldest individual betting illegally was a 74-year-old Singaporean.