53 People Arrested for Illegal Gambling in Singapore
Singaporean police recently conducted a raid and arrested 53 people for either operating or playing in an illegal gambling house. This is part of the country’s continuing government crackdown on illegal gambling. In addition to the arrests, the police seized nearly $4,000 in cash, along with a half-pound of illegal narcotics.
Singapore’s Problem with Gambling
There are many Muslims in Singapore, and their faith does not allow them to gamble. However, it is not the only religion in the country. There are four major religions in Singapore: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity. Singapore was a British colony until after World War II when it gained its independence. Since then, the country has prospered.
People in Singapore have been gambling for hundreds of years, mostly on card and tile games. The government of Singapore has made attempts to regulate its gambling industry. The country has a state-run lottery that takes in $2.8 billion in revenue each year. In addition, the government runs a lottery pool that offers scratch-off games and sports betting. These bring in yearly revenue of $5 billion. The country has also developed two integrated casino resorts that have revenue of more than $6 billion yearly. Singapore built the first casino in 2010 and the other in 2013. Singapore apparently doesn’t have a large problem with gambling, but it wants to regulate it heavily for revenue purposes.
The Illegal Gaming Craze
Despite the government’s best efforts to regulate it, Singapore has a huge market for illegal gambling. Research has indicated more than 58 percent of Singaporeans gambled illegally in the past year. They typically have gambling expenses of $244 per month. The most popular form of illegal gambling over the years has been social gambling. Singaporeans played mahjong, pai gow, and other games with friends and family, either at social clubs or at someone’s home. This is a common pastime in Singapore. Researchers have estimated that 20 percent of the population of Singapore illegally gambles on card or tile games.
In addition to illegal gambling on card and tile games, Singaporeans also enjoy sports gambling illegally There are many aspects of sports gaming that are legal in the country. Singaporeans bet on nearly everything. This could include the number of points in a cricket game to the height of a header in soccer.
The government of Singapore is also worried about the number of problem gamblers in the country. Research has stated 75 percent of people between 40 and 59 didn’t think they had enough savings to retire. More than 40 percent were counting on winning one of the lottery games to supplement their retirement. The government has also stated that it is worried about the effects of illegal gambling on senior citizens. The country sees seniors as vulnerable because they have more free time and additional income.
In addition, the government reported an increase in problem gambling at the addiction management services between 2012 and 2017. It was more than 60 percent. The government stated part of the reason for the increase was because of greater public awareness of the issue.
The police officers acted on a tip when they raided the house. They found several tables set up for card gambling and mahjong, as well, with cash and chips. There were 53 people arrested, and they ranged in age from 20 to 79. Police arrested most of them only for gambling offenses. However, the authorities arrested 12 men and women for vice and immigration offenses in addition to gambling. Two people had additional drug charges added to the gambling offenses. If convicted of gambling in public, they could receive a fine of up to $5,000 and face six months in jail.
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As an avid video poker player and lover of real money online blackjack, Thomas is the founder and guiding voice behind the Top Casino Picks community. A project manager at a London based Fortune 500 tech company, Thomas is an online casino enthusiast who founded TCP as a hobby to help other players avoid the headaches and hassles he has encountered when trying to find the best real money online casinos.
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