End of an era as Joo Chiat betting shop closes

End of an era as Joo Chiat betting shop closes
ALL SMILES: Mr Richard Too during his last day at his betting shop.

SINGAPORE - It seemed like a regular day at the Joo Chiat betting shop that had been operating for the past 46 years.

But the Singapore Pools authorised retailer sold its last tickets yesterday after its owner retired.

Mr Richard Too, 71, said: "Age is catching up with me. I'm sad I can no longer serve my customers in the neighbourhood."

None of his three children, all in their 40s, was willing to take over the business.

Mr Eric Perera, 57, who walks past Mr Too's shop almost every day, said the shop had become a focal point for some in the community.

FOOTBALL MATCHES

"Richard always chatted with the regulars about big upcoming football matches," said the copywriter.

With the shop's closure, punters will have to walk a little further, to Marine Parade Central, to make their bets.

Regular patrons of the shop say they will miss the personalised service and Mr Too's affable manner.

When The New Paper visited the shop yesterday, some of his regulars, who make up to 80 per cent of his customers, were giving him their well wishes.

A regular patron, who declined to be named, said: "It's a big waste. Richard did favours for us like helping me to buy tickets with just a phone call when I was overseas."

He added that he might stop betting after this as he believes that buying from Mr Too's shop gave him luck. Mr Too inherited the shop from his father.

He started running the shop as an authorised retailer the same year that Singapore Pools, the only legal lottery operator in Singapore, was set up.

A Singapore Pools spokesman said: "Singapore Pools would like to thank (Mr Too) for his committed service and wish him a happy retirement."

Mr Too, who has seven grandchildren, said he planned to spend more time with his family.

"I'll keep active by going for my morning walks and helping my wife with housework," he said.


This article was first published on May 30, 2014.
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