Put an end to heartland casinos

It is time the authorities cracked down on clubs that operate jackpot machines in the heart of HDB estates (Heartland casinos; April 30).

These clubs have innocuous-sounding names like Tiong Bahru Football Club in Chinatown, the NTUC Club in Bedok and Ang Mo Kio, or the AA also in Ang Mo Kio.

They should be forced to either levy hefty entrance fees or disallow associate membership.

Better still, these clubs should be banned altogether from HDB estates.

Many members of such clubs are housewives, retirees or semi-retirees who are bored at home and attracted to an air-conditioned place that offers them free drinks and people to talk to.

Convenient gambling places like these have caused untold misery and suffering to many people in the HDB heartlands, especially old folks.

Many have lost their hard-earned Central Provident Fund savings to these casinos which masquerade as social clubs.

It is one thing to say that no one forces these people to gamble. It is another to bring these casinos to their doorstep.

The Government must act quickly and decisively to put a stop to this.

Harry Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2017, with the headline 'Put an end to heartland casinos'. Print Edition | Subscribe