Singapore: leader of online gambling syndicate jailed

The leader was arrested along with 48 other suspects during a raid in 2016.
The leader was arrested along with 48 other suspects during a raid in 2016.

Lim Beng Tiong, leader of an illegal online gambling syndicate, has been sentenced to a maximum of five years and five months in prison.

Singapore.- Lim Beng Tiong has been sentenced to five years and five months in prison for leading an illegal lottery-betting outfit.

Beng Tiong was originally arrested in a raid in 2016 with 48 others. Officers found that Lim Beng Tiong’s syndicate controlled online gambling sites that offered options for betting on lotteries.

The syndicate collected up to SGD4.32m in illegal bets between January 2013 and November 2016. In the last month of operations, before the arrests, it recorded SGD2m (US$1.49m) in bets.

According to Today, the status of the other 48 who were arrested with Lim was not stated in court documents.

In June, police arrested 36 in a series of raids targetting an illegal gambling operation with multiple locations.

According to officers, those arrested were operating illegal gambling and an unlicensed moneylending syndicate. Those arrested are aged between 26 and 63, including one woman.

During the raid, police seized gambling-related documents, computers, mobile phones, pre-paid cards and cash amounting to more than SGD$770,000 (US$572,600).

The number of gamblers in Singapore declined in 2020

A survey has found that 44 per cent of respondents gambled at least once during 2020, down from 52 per cent in 2017. The survey also found that probable pathological and problem gambling (PPPG) rates among residents remained low at 1.2 per cent.

The survey was taken by 3,000 Singapore residents aged 18 and above between February and December last year. Singapore conducts a survey every three years to monitor the number of potential problem gamblers.

It found that the average monthly bet declined from SGD30 in 2017 to SGD15 in 2020, while 89 per cent of gamblers bet SGD100 or less monthly and only 0.3 per cent bet more than SGD1,000 per month.

The NCPG said the decline Covid-19 restrictions during the period of the survey could have affected responses.

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