Bookmaker gets 2 weeks' jail and $20k fine for accepting horse racing bets at coffee shop

Heng Chaw Chew who acted as a bookmaker at a coffee shop was sentenced to two weeks' jail and the minimum $20,000 fine on Feb 19, 2018.
Heng Chaw Chew who acted as a bookmaker at a coffee shop was sentenced to two weeks' jail and the minimum $20,000 fine on Feb 19, 2018. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 66-year-old man who acted as a bookmaker at a coffee shop was sentenced to two weeks' jail and the minimum $20,000 fine on Monday (Feb 19).

Heng Chaw Chew had pleaded guilty last month to acting as a bookmaker by accepting bets totalling $240 for races in Singapore and Hong Kong at Hoover Coffeeshop at Block 65 Circuit Road on Nov 19 last year.

Police officers raided the premises that afternoon to investigate suspected illegal horse betting activities and found Heng with guidebooks called Punters' Way Sha Tin Races and Punters' Way Singapore Races as well as $240 in cash.

The court heard that before his arrest, Heng had been loitering near the coffee shop to accept bets from punters.

Items seized included a record of 32 ''win" and 28 "place" tickets, based on an illegal rate of $4 per ticket.

Heng could not pay the $20,000 fine and will serve a default sentence of one month's jail.

The maximum punishment under the Betting Act is a $200,000 fine and five years' jail.