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Tan Tam Mei
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Singapore

Is clawing for cash gambling?

The New Paper | Tan Tam Mei | Thursday, May 22, 2014

Instead of just offering soft toys as prizes, this "claw machine" at Ang Mo Kio offers a cash prize that comes tied around the toy.

SINGAPORE - Winning soft toys and trinkets from claw machines at arcades is common. But one machine in Ang Mo Kio rewards players with something extra - cash tied around soft toys.

To play, one has to use a button and joystick to control the claw and pluck prizes from the machine.

If successful, the claw drops the prize into an opening. The player then collects the toy.

But this claw machine on the third-storey lobby of Big Mac Centre at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 poses the question: Is it gambling?

The lobby is shared by a cyber cafe and a pool arcade. It is not known if they share the same management.

Each try on the machine costs $1. Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday that of the 20 soft toys in the machine, five had $10 notes tied around them while four had a $2 note on each. The notes were fastened to the toys with rubber bands.

When The New Paper visited the arcade yesterday, the machine was still there - minus the cash.

Counter staff who spoke to TNP claimed that they had not noticed cash on the toys before. Attempts to reach the supervisor were unsuccessful.

Two teenage boys, who declined to be named, told TNP that they visit the cyber cafe and pool arcade twice weekly, but noticed cash in the claw machine only once.

Offering cash prizes at arcades is unheard of and such places might not have the proper licence to do so, said Mr Rajan Supramaniam, a lawyer at Hilborne Law LLC.

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