[Update Oct. 12, 9pm] Editor's note: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated in the headline that six men were arrested for allegedly betting on horses illegally. We have since corrected this to reflect that they are being investigated.
The police are investigating eight men, aged between 52 and 90, for their suspected involvement in illegal horse betting activities and alleged non-compliance of safe distancing measures (SDM) in Bedok.
The police said that officers from the Bedok Police Division conducted enforcement operations in the vicinity of Blocks 24 and 26 New Upper Changi Road from Oct. 6 to 10, 2021.
Two men, aged 70 and 73, were arrested for their suspected involvement as bookmakers.
Six others, aged between 52 and 90, are being investigated for allegedly betting with bookmakers.
Cash amounting to more than S$3,500 and betting paraphernalia were seized.
The men will also be investigated for alleged non-compliance with SDM, by gathering in groups exceeding the permitted group size under prevailing Covid-19 Regulations.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Under the Betting Act, any person who is found to be involved in bookmaking shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than S$20,000 and not more than S$200,000, and shall also be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
Any person who bets with a bookmaker in any place, or for the purpose of betting loiters in any place to which the public has access, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding S$5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.
For non-compliance with safe distancing measures under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, offenders may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
Residents tipped off Chinese media
It was reported that the area at Block 26 New Upper Changi Road in Bedok is a popular spot for punters betting on horse racing.
Elderly punters were seen gathering in large groups despite being advised to stay at home during the pandemic.
Some residents in the area had tipped Chinese media off about this regular occurrence.
As many as 50 or more people can be seen standing along the sheltered walkways and an outdoor pavilion area betting on horses, residents told Shin Min Daily News.
Some also did not wear masks.
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Top photo via Shin Min Daily News/FB.