Illegal bookmaker jailed for 11 months and fined $250K

SINGAPORE - A former sales promoter was sentenced to 11 months' jail and a $250,000 fine on Friday for illegal soccer betting and other offences.

Sim Kian Soon, 33, who faced 75 charges, had admitted to 10 counts under the Betting Act and Common Gaming Houses Act for helping to run a public lottery and acting as a bookmaker in 2013.

Investigation showed that Sim was introduced to illegal soccer betting by a male Chinese known only as Man. They had met at a coffeeshop.

While chatting about soccer betting, Man told Sim he had an account which he could extend credit for Sim to punt.

Man asked Sim if he was interested to punt with him, and the latter expressed interest. He was given an account and password with a credit limit of $2,000 to $3,000, and his bets with Man ranged from $300 to $500.

Sometime in 2013, Man asked Sim if he was keen to be a bookmaker for illegal soccer betting and promised him 10 per cent of the punter's bet if the punter lost.

Sim agreed and received an agent account and password to enter the website.

The credit limit for the agent account was $100,000. He has three active accounts, two of which he used to play while the third belonged to a punter known as Ann.

He would earn commissions from the punter's bets.

He would then settle the accounts of the punters once the credit limit is reached. He would tabulate the total winnings or losses of the punters, collect cash from them and then pass the the money to Man.

The court heard that he had opened one account for illegal public lottery through Ann whom he met at a pub.

Sim claimed that he earned about $500 to $2,000 from his illegal betting activities.

Among the soccer fixtures that he accepted bets to forecast the soccer results were English Premier League, Russia Premier League, Barclays Asia Trophy, USA Reserve League, UEFA Champions League and Japan Football League.

Police arrested him during a raid at his Bedok home on Aug 21 that year and seized his laptop, mobile phones, $1,600 and other items.

Lawyer Selva K. Naidu said in mitigation that though the number of charges was large, his client was a small scale operator. He said Sim's wife, who is a Thai, now works as part-time packer and they have a 31/2-year-old daughter.

Sim could not pay the fines and will serve another 25 weeks behind bars.

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