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Funeral Wakes Double-Up as Gambling Joints

6 December 2004

Singapore -- As reported by the Independent Online: "Funeral wakes have become occasions for illegal gambling in Singapore, prompting a series of raids by police, officials said on Monday.

"With wakes often held in tents set up on housing block decks, the gambling operators rent out space from the bereaved family in a separate tent behind the coffin,and they often harassing the mourners into allowing them to do so.

"'Police do not normally act against family members and friends of the deceased for playing card games, or other games of chance for social interaction to pass time while keeping vigil at the wake,' a spokeperson told The Straits Times.

"But illegal gambling is not tolerated. Police have raided several wakes following information received from the public..."

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