Gambler lost $80,000 in last World Cup

Counsellors expect surge in people seeking help over betting debts after tournament ends

Left: This coffee shop in Lorong 15 Geylang is among the few where anyone can place a bet during World Cup matches. Above: An illegal bookmaker taking out $100 bills to pay a punter after the match between Argentina and France.
This coffee shop in Lorong 15 Geylang is among the few where anyone can place a bet during World Cup matches. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
Left: This coffee shop in Lorong 15 Geylang is among the few where anyone can place a bet during World Cup matches. Above: An illegal bookmaker taking out $100 bills to pay a punter after the match between Argentina and France.
An illegal bookmaker taking out $100 bills to pay a punter after the match between Argentina and France. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
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In just one night during the last World Cup in 2014, a 35-year-old man lost a whopping $30,000 on three matches. In that month alone, Ken (not his real name) chalked up some $80,000 in gambling losses.

Ken, who works in a design firm, said he has cut down on gambling for the sake of his family. He is still placing bets on the matches of the ongoing World Cup in Russia, though his bets - and losses - are now limited to hundreds of dollars.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline Gambler lost $80,000 in last World Cup. Subscribe