Gongfu trainer jailed, fined for using martial arts gym as gaming house

Tan Soh Tin, 74, admitted to allowing the public to access the premises to play mahjong on Feb 14, 2017.
Tan Soh Tin, 74, admitted to allowing the public to access the premises to play mahjong on Feb 14, 2017. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A gongfu trainer who used a Chinese martial arts gym as a common gaming house was jailed for 10 days and fined $10,000 on Tuesday (Aug 22).

Tan Soh Tin, 74, admitted to allowing the public to access the Geylang Lorong 15 premises to play mahjong on Feb 14, 2017. 

Prosecution officer Kelvin Lee Ming Woei said that acting on information received, police raided the premises and arrested Tan, two co-accused and four others that day.

Investigations showed that Tan had rented the premises for $2,000 a month as a Chinese martial arts gym known as Master Tan’s Gym.

Tan also set up two mahjong tables there to allow any member of the public to have access and have a game of mahjong. Tan would then receive some revenue from the mahjong sessions conducted to cover part of his rental cost.

Assistant Superintendent Lee said that to manage the sessions, Tan enlisted the help of the two co-accused, who would collect $3 from each mahjong player for each round of game played. In one round, a total of $12 would be collected from all the players.

The two co-accused, Chua Thian Lye, 66, and Sim Kim Huat, 65, will be dealt with next Wednesday (Aug 30). 

They admitted that they were playing a game of mahjong and said that they were introduced by word of mouth to the mahjong sessions. 

The stakes involved were about $100 to $200 per game.

The other four players were fined between $1,000 and $2,000 each for gaming.

Tan could have been fined up to $50,000 and jailed for up to three years for the offence.