Illegal Horse Betting Activity in Singapore Becoming Endemic Problem

Home » Illegal Horse Betting Activity in Singapore Becoming Endemic Problem

Posted on: February 23, 2022, 06:41h. 

Last updated on: February 23, 2022, 06:44h.

Police in Singapore are investigating potential widespread illegal horse betting across the country. In the latest crackdown, they raided a number of operations and are investigating over 80 for their involvement.

Singapore Turf Club
A horserace at the Singapore Turf Club. Despite the popularity of the races, betting on them is illegal and police raids recently netted almost 90 participants. (Image: Flickr)

Singapore’s stance as a mostly anti-gambling nation, with certain exceptions, continues to be tested on a regular basis. The latest comes through a string of raids police carried out across the country against illegal horse betting activity. In all, they netted 89 people, who are now under investigation and who could face serious penalties.

Singapore Busts Horse Betting Rings

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced yesterday that it, along with the Criminal Investigation Department, targeted six illegal gambling locations across the country from February 14 to 20. The raids took place in Bedok, Marsiling, Jurong West and others.

As a result of the interventions, the SPF identified suspects who were either leading the illegal horse racing activity or just participating as gamblers. Both categories carry their own type of punishment, and police will now determine who deserves which.

Some of those arrested were organizers and others were bettors. Police also picked up a few runners, individuals who gather information on the betting activity taking place around the course.

Phone records and documentation will help the investigation. The SPF seized a number of phones, along with paperwork, as well as over $30,000 in cash. It’s possible, through the documentation, that those involved might face additional charges. In addition, police may make more arrests.

Reports about the raids didn’t specify if the individuals are still in custody, or if they are free pending the outcome of the investigations.

Singapore Enjoys Horse Racing

The history of horse racing in Singapore goes back to the 19th Century. It has been a popular sport among the multi-cultural population of the country. Modern technology has seamlessly integrated with the best traditions in the sport, and racetrack administration is up to international standards.

However, gambling on the races falls into a different category entirely. Only certain operators, such as Singapore Pools and Tote Board, can conduct sports betting activity. Casinos arrived as a result of the Casino Control Act in 2006, but only two are open, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.

Almost everything else is still off-limits, including horse betting. Those who gambling illegally can receive a fine of up to $10,000 and spend as many as six months in jail. Operators face tougher punishments, including a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of up to $200,000.

These penalties could change. As the country brings in a unified gambling regulator and new laws, stiffer penalties are in the works. Bettors could soon face up to seven years in prison and fines up to $300,000. Operators could also receive a seven-year term, but the financial component increases to a maximum of $500,000.

Until the investigation of the betting rings wraps up, those involved won’t know what punishments they face.

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