Efforts from authorities in Singapore to tackle illegal horse betting continue to deliver results after a report released by the Singapore Police Force on Tuesday, February 22, revealed a total of 89 men are being investigated.
Multiple Island-Wide Raids
The report released by the police stated all suspects, men aged between 34 and 87, are under investigation for suspected involvement in illegal horse betting activities. The investigation follows raids from officers of the Criminal Investigation Department and the seven police land stations at multiple locations between February 14 and February 20.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the 89 men are believed to have been involved in various roles such as illegal bookmakers, runners as well as punters.”
During the coordinated raids in Bedok, Beo Crescent, Marsiling, Jurong West, Telok Blangah Crescent and Toa Payoh, police seized cash of more than S$30,000 ($22,200), mobile phones, as well as documented betting records.
Ongoing investigations against all men are under the Betting Act, while ten of them are also investigated for violations of the Remote Gambling Act. Both laws have provisions for solid financial sanctions and prison time.
Hefty Fines and Jail Time
Those found guilty of accepting illegal bets under the Betting Act will be facing a fine between S$20,000 ($14,800) and S$200,000 ($148,000) and up to five years in jail, while people placing bets with illegal bookmaking operators can be sanctioned with a fine of up to S$5,000 ($3,700), a maximum of six months in jail, or both.
The Remote Gambling Act stipulates that unlawful provision of remote gambling services should merit a fine between S$20,000 ($14,800) and S$200,000 ($148,000), while those who are involved in unlawful remote gambling can be fined S$5,000 ($3,700), jailed for up to six months, or both.
The authorities reiterated that they “take a serious view against all forms of illegal gambling activities and will continue to take tough enforcement action, including prosecuting those involved to the fullest extent of the law.” The police also used the occasion to remind the public to steer clear of all forms of illegal gambling activities.
The enforcement action undertaken by the Singapore Police Force is the latest against illegal gambling in the country, following raids on illegal gambling operations in October and November which resulted in seven men, aged between 37 and 53, being arrested and 45 men and four women, aged between 37 and 83, being investigated for their suspected involvement in illegal gambling, horse betting and remote gambling activities.