Easy access to football clubs' jackpot machines

The Tanjong Pagar Football Club clubhouse at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre.
The Tanjong Pagar Football Club clubhouse at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN

Unlike the integrated resorts, which charge $100 for entry to the casino, there are few hurdles to entry to a football club's jackpot room.

Becoming a member of a clubhouse, which is required to play its jackpot machines, is a breeze.

A check of three clubhouses by The Straits Times yesterday showed that membership is free at two, while one requires an annual fee of only $5.

The membership is also instant at two joints, while the staff at the third clubhouse said they need a day before clearance can be given.

There were hardly any patrons when ST visited after lunchtime, but the staff said more people visit the jackpot rooms during weekends and public holidays.

Gone are the dark, dingy, smoke-filled stereotypes of the past. These days, patrons are hosted in clean, air-conditioned rooms with food and drinks sold at a counter.

 

Gone are the dark, dingy, smoke-filled stereotypes of the past. These days, patrons are hosted in clean, air-conditioned rooms with food and drinks sold at a counter. One clubhouse was playing Teresa Teng's hits.

There have been reports that some clubs provide members with free food. But when asked about the culinary offerings at one clubhouse, staff pointed to the food court outside.

But fortune smiled in other ways. At one clubhouse, a machine called Justice Bao was fed a $10 note.

The winning moment was heralded with a lit-up screen and the sound of drum rolls blaring over the speakers.

Midway through, a staff member interrupted with a request to fill in a lucky draw slip. A notice on the wall said the top prize was $300.

"The draw is tomorrow. Good luck," she said.

After pressing the jackpot machine's button at least 30 times, no one was the wiser as to how the game worked.

It was time to cash out - and $34.20 was handed over by the cashier.

But there was more satisfaction later - when the winnings were donated to the ST School Pocket Money Fund.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline 'Easy access to football clubs' jackpot machines'. Print Edition | Subscribe