Gambling via phones too easy

Gambling via phones too easy

SINGAPORE- While many train commuters update their Facebook profiles or watch movies on their smartphones during their evening journey, James (not his real name) is using his phone for another purpose: Getting real-time updates on a football match in Europe.

He has placed a $100 wager on the match via an online betting website, which offers him second-by-second developments on the field such as which side is on the offensive and where a free kick is about to take place.

With just a few taps, the communications manager, who declined to give his name, has put down another $100, this time on the opposing team. This is what "in-running betting" is about, he said.

The 27-year-old said if he is confident of an outcome, he will hedge his bets to cover his losses. Sometimes, he can have $1,500 riding on 10 different matches simultaneously.

"Singapore Pools also offers live betting but it's quite tedious, you have to be a member and do it in person or through the phone," he said.

The ease with which any person with a smartphone and a bank account can bet online 24/7 is likely the reason the authorities here are considering new legislation to outlaw online gambling sites.

Popular gambling websites, often optimised for mobile devices, have features that allow users to place bets securely through their smartphones.

Local customers - typically of ages between 21 and 45 - can place bets on a wide range of sports, from football and snooker to tennis.

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