Singapore Pools reopens, with punters visiting branches islandwide

A Singapore Pools outlet at Block 351 Jurong East Street 31 on June 22, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Singapore Pools' first day of reopening on Monday (June 22) after more than two months saw punters flocking to its branches and authorised retail outlets.

All branches and authorised retailers had been closed since April 7 when the coronavirus circuit breaker was imposed. About 240 outlets reopened on Monday although Singapore Pools' Livewire venues and off-course betting centres will remain closed.

4-D and Toto lottery draws resume on Wednesday and Thursday respectively while Singapore Sweep restarts on Aug 5 with the August draw.

Safe management measures at these outlets included enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas and common spaces, on-ground assistants to manage queues, visual signages and floor demarcations to maintain safe distancing, as well as public education materials, said a Singapore Pools spokesman.

On Monday afternoon, a steady stream of punters could be seen entering the Singapore Pools outlets at FairPrice at Clementi Avenue 3 and the Clementi Town Centre branch.

At the supermarket, staff members were outside conducting temperature scans, guiding punters through the process of checking in and directing them to where to stand in the queue to maintain a safe distance.

Cleaning supervisor Dominic Pereira, 68, who used to bet thrice a week, told The Straits Times: "(The measures) are good, they have the proper procedure of queueing up instead of people rushing and getting too close to one another.

"I'm just trying my luck, it's good that (Singapore Pools outlets) have reopened. Today is my first time after a few months' break, so hopefully I'll have some luck."

Some, like 51-year-old Madam Tan Lai Wan, decided to make a bet while buying groceries. She said it was easy to abide by the safety measures in place.

A steady stream of punters could be seen entering the Singapore Pools outlets at FairPrice at Clementi Avenue 3. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Her sentiments were shared by food and beverage outlet manager Henry Vijay Kumar Charles and real estate agent Adrian Lim, who were at the Holland Drive branch.

Mr Lim, 54, said: "It's not troublesome because (these measures) are common and in place everywhere."

Mr Henry, who bought a 4-D ticket, also praised the safety protocols. "I feel it's safe," said the 37-year-old.

Singapore Pools has also taken other measures including cascading the Toto game at the second instead of the fourth consecutive draw to avoid overcrowding. Customers have also been advised to avoid peak hours and to consider placing contactless bets through a registered Singapore Pools account.

A retiree who only wanted to be known as Mr Sia said his visit to the Clementi Town Centre branch was "very fast".

He added: "I waited about five minutes. The process was very fast and (the measures) were not troublesome."

Asked if he was happy about the Singapore Pools outlets reopening, the 75-year-old quipped: "I'll be happier if I win."

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