Singapore police investigate 89 men for alleged involvement in illegal gambling

Singapore has promoted a strong crackdown on illegal betting on horse racing. A recent operation led police to question 89 men suspected of acting as gamblers and runners.

The suspects, aged between 34 and 87, are being investigated for involvement in illegal gambling activities. Ten are also being investigated under the ‘Remote Gambling Act 2014’ for activities related to the provision of illegal remote gambling services.

A press conference was held on Tuesday, 22, detailing the police operation at various locations in Singapore between 14 and 20 February, including areas such as Bedok, Beo Crescent, Marsiling, Jurong West, Telok Blangah Crescent and Toa Payoh.

During these raids, police seized more than $30,000 in cash, several cell phones and documentation that included betting records.

Current law in Singapore states that anyone involved in illegal remote gambling or placing a bet at a bookmaker can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $5,000. In addition, anyone providing illegal remote gaming services can be sentenced to up to five years and a $200,000 fine.

Singapore may adopt even stricter rules for illegal gambling

As per the Gambling Control Bill, there are new laws being proposed with even more severe penalties for those involved in illegal gambling. The first reading of this bill in Parliament took place on 14 February.

The text suggests a doubling of the current fine, meaning those who play in an unlicensed environment can be detained for up to six months and fined up to $10,000. The bill also provides that illegal gambling agents can have different penalties for repeat offenders, with a maximum prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $300,000.

Operators, who are clearly distinct from agents, will face the toughest penalties under the bill. It proposes a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to US$500,000. Again, for repeat offenders, jail time can be up to 10 years and the fine up to $700,000.

The official statement was as follows: “Police have a serious view against all forms of illegal gaming activities and will continue to take tough enforcement measures, including prosecuting those involved in accordance with applicable laws.”