Don't make gambling more convenient

I read with apprehension about Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club getting involved in online gambling ("Legal online betting could kick off next June"; Wednesday).

On the one hand, the authorities are implementing a ban on online gambling, on the other , they are going to promote it.

It's like a parent telling a child not to smoke while holding on to a lit cigarette. There isn't any moral authority on the part of the parent.

Singapore already has many gambling facilities, including two casinos, horse racing and not to mention, many conveniently located 4D and Toto outlets spread across every neighbourhood.

We must not make gambling more convenient or easily accessible to people, especially the younger ones.

Many families are struggling with having a breadwinner addicted to gambling. Sometimes, they go without food, and children are unable to pay school fees and have to drop out of school to help feed the family.

Many of these gamblers also owe thousands of dollars to friends, relatives, banks and moneylenders.

Some resort to crime or suicide as an option.

Some lose their homes and, as a result, their children are being moved from place to place, including public parks and beaches.

This creates a vicious circle of homelessness, crime and various addictions.

In a nutshell, online gambling does more harm than good.

Let us forgo the potential earnings for the sake of our nation's future.

The social cost is going to be very high for future generations.

Let the people of Singapore be proud of their government this SG50 year, knowing that the future of our nation is in good hands.

Albert Wong Kwan Wei