Punters out in force as Singapore Pools reopens
The rain did not stop punters from their shot at winning the lottery as Singapore Pools reopened yesterday. All branches and authorised outlets had been closed since the start of the circuit breaker on April 7.
Outside the Tong Aik Huat outlet at 685 Hougang Street 61, a queue of about 30 had formed even before its doors opened at 8am, reported Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao.
Ms Tan Mei Qi, 68, a Hougang resident of more than 20 years, was one of them. She was upbeat as as she had won several times after placing bets at the particular branch.
With her birthday this month, she placed a bet with the numbers from her birth date. She said: "I saved my money while the outlets were closed. It is just for a bit of entertainment."
Draws for 4D and Toto resume tomorrow and Thursday respectively, while the Singapore Sweep will begin on Aug 5, Singapore Pools said last week.
At the Toa Payoh outlet at 85 Lorong 4, Ms Ng Li Juan, 65, braved the rain for 10 minutes to make a $300 bet - double the usual amount, she told Wanbao.
The retiree, who lost her part-time job at a betting station due to the pandemic, said: "It has been two months since I last placed a bet. Today is the first time I bought three days' worth of tickets at a time. I am also helping my relatives place bets."
Other punters also turned up to buy tickets on behalf of their loved ones.
An administrative manager who wanted to be known only as Ms Wong, 37, said she bought tickets for her husband and her mother.
Ms Wong said: "My mother is a regular at the betting station. But it is raining and I don't want her to line up outside."
Among the safe management measures at outlets were enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas and common spaces, on-ground assistants to manage queues and visual signage and floor demarcations to maintain safe distancing.
To minimise queues, the Tong Aik Huat outlet opened all five of its counters to reduce waiting times, while punters were spaced out with safe distancing markers, reported Wanbao. Customers were not allowed to fill bets in the outlets but were given the slips while queueing up.
As payment service for winnings had been suspended since April 7, Singapore Pools extended the validity of winning tickets by 90 days for winners to make their claims. This applies to all lottery draws as well as sports and horse-racing events held between Oct 10 last year and April 5 this year.