SINGAPORE — The easing of COVID-19 restrictions has resulted in people spending more on gambling, leading to strong results for lottery and sports betting products. In the Tote Board’s last financial year, which ended this past March, about 9.2 billion Singapore dollars were wagered on lotteries and sports. That’s up by about 43% over the previous financial year.
TOTO, also known as Singapore Pools, has long been one of the most popular forms of gambling in Singapore and is widely available at their official outlets. It was first launched in 1968, and over the years it has undergone some changes and modernisation. It has gone from a caveman-like experience to a modernised progressive jackpot system that sees the prize amount increase every week until it is claimed.
The game itself is played by buying a ticket at the outlet, and the winnings are shared between the winners. The prizes are usually in cash, but some are in the form of goods or services. However, it is important to note that winnings from TOTO are not tax-free.
The scammers will often try to get the victims to transfer money, and even pay administrative fees before they can receive their prizes. Police are warning the public to remain vigilant against such scams and to check with the lottery operator before transferring any funds. The victims reported losing a total of over SG$507,000 (US$376,896) to the scammers. They are also advised to download the ScamShield app.