Chinese New Year: Singapore Gamblers get hooked!

We just past 2015! And now we are counting down towards the festive Chinese New Year. Every Chinese around the world will be celebrating this festival as it’s a time to get together and have fun. Staff at Empire Global too indulge sinfully in our gatherings. However, let’s look at the topic of gambling during this festive season.

Chinese New Year Bonus + Annual Wage Supplement = Spend!

Traditional bosses give out additional bonus for Chinese New Year season as it means a sign of wealth in the company. Not to forget, there’s the 13th month bonus (annual wage supplement) that is handed out too. And that’s a lot of extra money in your pockets.

More often than not it means trouble especially to problem gamblers who try their luck out in Chinese New Year.

A Little History on Chinese Gambling

Well, its not difficult to reason why Chinese are known around the world for their high aptitude to gamble. As you look back through time, Chinese people have a long-documented history of gambling (recorded in every known dynasty).

Chinese believe in many control points (feng shui, luck, star sign, superstition). These high illusion of control may then lead to high risk-taking and/or more gambling. Chinese gamblers’ illusion of control is often portrayed in Chinese gambling-theme films.

Chinese Gamblers During Chinese New Year

Traditionally, many Chinese will play some form of gambling during the Chinese New Year as it is believed the new year brings in fresh new luck. I believe most of us can ascertain to that. With the long holidays during Chinese New Year, gamblers head to the local casinos and try their luck. Well with the added money from bonus it’s no surprise.

Today’s Gamblers in Singapore

Singapore, is in the top 10 list of biggest gambling nations.

Singapore Top 10 Gambling Nations in the World

Singapore Top 10 Gambling Nations in the World

Singapore’s One Hope Centre, which helps gambling addicts, saw a nearly 50% jump in cases in 2013 compared to 2012. In 2013, One Hope Centre saw 523 addicts seeking counselling. Executive Director, Mr Dick Lum, said, “Many clients that we counselled felt that it is all right to gamble, since the Government allows the casinos to be opened here, and this is very misleading.”

Watch: Counsellors have been constantly calling for tougher curbs on online gambling

Gambling addicts have also chalked up high debts and a recent statistic shows Singapore gamblers are some of the top loss per gambler.

Singapore Top 10 Gambling Losers in the World

Singapore Top 10 Gambling Losers in the World

However, even with large losses and the $100 local entry fees, this does not deter more citizens to delve into their gambling addictions. Gamblers now find gambling alternatives and using online methods instead.

Getting online is pretty easy in Singapore and online gambling enters make it even easier to sign up PLUS some provide free credit for account openings. This has led to even youths going online as the age restrictions in Singapore casinos are pretty strict.

Latest statistics from the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) show that online gamblers have the poorest self-control.

Youths Gambling?

A local study done by NTU’s Professor Chang Weining in 2007 found that the prevalence of problem gambling in Singaporean youth is about three in 100, but one of them is a potential pathological gambler.

ECMS Consultants, another counselling centre, said they are seeing more younger adults hooked on gambling. Its clinical director, Gerald Goh, said that he has also seen foreign students who go to the casinos every week.

“For them, it’s free to go to the casinos. On average, their parents give them $15,000 to $20,000 pocket money a month, so they go in there to ‘have fun’. But when they lose their pocket money, they start to borrow from friends,” Mr Goh said.

Gambling Bad Loans?

Quite often, some of our clients went into big debts of bad loans from illegal moneylenders. If you have issues with illegal moneylenders or loan issues, do consult with our loan officers and we will best assist you.

Summary: Help for Addict Gamblers

There are lots of help available in Singapore through the National Council on Problem Gambling (http://www.ncpg.org.sg) and the National Addictions Management Services (NAMS). If you think you or your loved ones have a problem with gambling, you can also call the stop gambling hotline at 1800-6-668-668.

There’s even an expression which justifies gambling during the Chinese New Year as ‘a little bit of gambling soothes your mind.’  (小赌怡情). So just have some controlled gambling with your family and everybody relaxes to have fun.

Meanwhile enjoy this social video.

  • National Council on Problem Gambling: 1800-6668-668
  • National Addictions Management Service (All Addictions): 6732-6837
  • Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre: 6593-6489
  • The Samaritans of Singapore (24 hours): 1800-2214-444
  • Ray of Hope by Christian Care Services: 1800-7867-669
  • One Hope Centre (9am to 6pm): 6547-1011
  • WeCare Community Services: 6471-5346

Read more: Gambling & How it Leads to Bad Loans

Problem Gambling & Considerations in Getting Personal Loans

Problem Gambling and Considerations in getting a Personal Loan

Think World Cup makes you Rich?  A look at Problem Gambling

Seen the problem gambling advertisement by Singapore? It has gone completely viral and people from the USA has seen the ad. Most of us at Empire Global are glad we supported Germany! Some of us have won quite a bit. Of course we bet from licensed source – Singapore Pools.

And who could forget dynamo Germany win over Argentina in the World Cup finals! 1-0 and that sealed the deal for the campaign.

We wished this was us! Gutsy guy who made this pick. Well, the ad message is to get across “Problem Gambling” to people.
Any Other Score: Germany vs Brazil

Any Other Score: Germany vs Brazil. We all wished we had this betting slip! 7-1 to Germany.

Here’s the ad done to resolve problem gambling

Problem Gambling in Singapore

We probably should have heeded Andy’s dad advice to support Germany isn’t it? With Germany’s win over Brazil (7-1 trashing), our hearts wished we had bet big on Germany. Wouldn’t you?

Although the memes and the jokes that people made over the ad made Singapore famous indirectly but the underlying message is important. Which is why the government agency will not yank the advert out from our tv viewing commercials.

Problem gambling is on the rise here in Singapore and is getting prevalent in our society especially with two big casinos in our country. Public education has increased greatly over the years, with readily available helplines , exclusion acts from casinos  and many online resources and support from government agencies. Here’s an info graphic to show some numbers on gambling habits in Singapore.

Gambling Figures 2011: Highlighting Gambling habits of Singaporeans

Gambling Figures 2011: Highlighting Gambling habits of Singaporeans. credit: ST PHOTO

With the increase takedown on illegal gambling dens and illegal moneylenders, it shows that Singapore is taking a strong stand on illegal activities.

Read more on: Singapore cracks down on illegal gambling dens

Borrowing Legally and Illegally

With World Cup this year, moneylenders has seen a spike in customers who are borrowing. Some of them had gambled heavily on underground gambling dens and needed financial assistance immediately. Some had turned to loansharks to borrow to pay off their debts. We speak to such customers every so often and at times we had to turn them down too.

The benefits and low risks involved for borrowing from legal lenders far outweigh those of illegal lenders. Harassments, high interest rates, SMS spam are the things you would want to avoid when you want to take up a loan.

Read more on: Why borrow from Licensed Moneylenders

Financial institutions and legal moneylenders have regulatory compliances and legit licenses to provide personal loan. Furthermore, with Budget 2014 there are new changes to the moneylending industries. Tighter rules and regulations are being carried out with more crackdowns on moneylenders who fail to compile within the rules. Moneylending licenses are getting lesser too. Which means those licensed moneylenders you see now are pretty much doing a great job.

Moneylending rules are under review which was announced during the World Cup period. Borrowers would have better financial education and interest rate caps. We expect this will be done across the board soon and the stop to new licenses for moneylenders since 2012 goes only to show that the government would only want good moneylenders to remain in the industry

Read more on: Moneylending review this World Cup

Getting a Personal Loan

You may need a sum of money urgently and you have exhausted all avenues to look for. This is when people turn to licensed moneylenders as it offers a form of unsecured debt financing solution. A Personal loan might be a good choice to look at. Plus moneylenders are able to release funds on a shorter term notice.

Advantages of Personal Loan from Moneylenders

Personal loan issued by moneylenders are unsecured meaning that you don’t have to vouch so strictly for your credit rating or income as opposed to by banks and other financial agencies. However by saying so, ensure that you are borrowing from a licensed moneylender or else you might end up in debt with extremely high interest rates.

Most of the time, one will need to handle a stack of paper work and provide assurance to lenders in order to receive a personal loans. Whereas with moneylenders, this step is greatly simplified. You would not need to have  a perfect credit rating or high salary to cover the personal loan.

Read more: Personal Loans Information Guide

5 Important Considerations before getting Personal Loan

1. Have you thought of all other alternatives before approaching a licensed moneylender? Do you have reserve funds somewhere? This is because personal loans bring another form of debt towards your financials.

2. Personal loan contracts are legal and borrowers are to ensure that they are able to meet the repayment terms and contract requirements. Ensure that you are able to meet the repayments set out and double check in on your financials before signing on the contract.

3. Borrow only what you need and what you can repay. Do a financial calculation of your outstanding debts, income and expenses. Gauge your debt servicing ratio, and borrow only what you can mange with. This is to avoid unwanted interest repayments.

4. Ensure that moneylenders or financial officers explain the financial and legal terms that are bounded in the contract. ALWAYS be sure that you know and understand the personal loan contract term. For personal loans, keep in mind the basics which is repayment period, repayment schedule, interest rates and other fees that could be incurred.

5. Be sure of yourself that you have made an informed decision about taking a personal loan from a licensed moneylender. Go with a licensed moneylender that you are comfortable with. Check their reviews online and compare them. Do not rush to take up a personal loan. Do through research for yourself.

At the End of the day

Regardless of whether you are borrowing from banks or licensed moneylenders, ensure that you have done adequate research and comparison on the loan contracts.

Personal loan are contracts made between you and the lender, understand the legal terms and the repayment contract that is set out. Caculate the interest rates and the repayment amount for the full loan term to ensure that you are borrowing within your limits.

ALWAYS borrow within your capabilities.

Stay tuned as we bring more articles on personal loans and how it affects you. We look into interest rates offered by banks and the many financial terms and buzz words commonly exchanged between them to confuse borrowers.

Empire Global is a licensed money lending company in Singapore. We place great emphasis on dishing out proper financial advice to our customers before they sign on the dotted line.

Here’s the new ad done by NCPG to save themselves. Some find it a good one. Some not so. You have the final say.

NCPG new Ad One More Time for Andy's Dad

NCPG new Ad One More Time for Andy’s Dad after Germany’s win this World Cup. What say you?

Don't Get Red Card this World Cup 2014: Avoid Illegal Soccer Betting

Moneylenders & World Cup: Moneylending Review Just in Time?

Go..Gol.. Goal!!  There goes my bet against my friend on supper. Disappointed by the big teams loses in this recent World Cup? Who could forget England’s recent World Cup disappointment against Uruguay? Out after just two games! We at Empire Global were glued to the television and were totally saddened by the team’s loss. Terrible performance wasn’t it?

Well if you had been staying up vigilantly catching this year’s World Cup matches, our local police has been going around catching illegal betting centres and moneylenders who violated the law.

Large spike in Illegal Betting this World Cup

Infographic: Illegal Soccer Betting $6.4 million into illegal World Cup bets
Infographic: Illegal Soccer Betting $6.4 million into illegal World Cup bets

There has been a large spike in illegal soccer betting activities due to gamblers faulting on their loans, turning to ah-longs or illegal moneylenders to facilitate their gambling addiction.

We are seeing more of such cases being reported and we had to turn some customers away whom had long-standing debts with these ah-longs.

With technology being easily accessible to everyone with just about a smartphone, a gambler can simply place bets via online soccer betting rings setup by syndicates.
Illegal bookmaker sends SMS for bet on World Cup
Illegal bookmaker sends SMS for bet on World Cup. Just one of the ways that you can place a bet via technology.

Ah-longs are further targeting victims who have succumbered to heavy betting losses turning them into “agents” or bookmakers for them.

These ah-longs harass and embarrass others when they collect money leading to moneylenders getting a bad name by the public. There has been public outcry and calls for review of the moneylending industry and the change has occurred just about recently.

New Rules for Moneylenders

Previously we wrote about how this year’s Budget 2014 is looking at revising the moneylending industry , it has come to be true. In recent news, the Ministry of Law has formed an advisory committee to review regulations for the licensed moneylending industry. This in turn could be good news for borrowers allowing better protection.

The advisory committee will review and implement practises such as capping of interest rates, restrict charging fees by moneylenders. This is to further look into bad moneylenders abusing their licenses and resorting to harassment means, excessive borrowing and charging exorbitant rates.

Some moneylenders give ill-advise to borrowers and tell them to take up loans which they cannot payback. This acts allow moneylenders to collect more interest and further land the borrower into greater debt.

With a stop to new licenses being issued to moneylenders since 2012, there has been a call to better review the licensed moneylending industry.

The committee is looking to cap the number of loans that a borrower is allowed to borrow, this in turn could lead borrowers to turn to illegal moneylenders. Which is why we advocate proper borrowing and educate our borrowers here at Empire Global.

Read more on: New Rules for Moneylenders

God of Football Gambling? Do Not Bet Illegally!

Never ever bet with illegal online bookmakers thinking it is more convenient and provide better odds. That will not be the case when you are arrested, charged in court and given a hefty fine.

Penalties

Betting with illegal bookmakers = Fine up to $5000 or imprisonment up to 6mths or both

Being involved with illegal bookmaking = Fine at least $20000 and up to $200,000. Imprisonment up to 5years.

Don't get Red Carded this World Cup 2014. Do not bet illegally.

Don’t get Red Carded this World Cup 2014. Do not bet illegally. Campaign by NCPC

AVOID illegal moneylenders or loansharks as they will try all means to land you further into debt. This is to allow a continuous flow of cash for them.
Need loans? Get it from Licensed Moneylenders
If you ever end up in debt due to unforeseen circumstances, do take measures to do proper money management first. Do consult our friendly loan officers at Empire Global to do a loan assessment before deciding to take up a loan or a payday loan for yourself.

Gambling and how it leads to getting bad loans

The time has come for all Chinese to celebrate and immerse themselves in the festive mood. Chinese New Year. This means a period of gathering, visiting the folks, catching up with relatives and friends. Aside from the New Year goodies, nothing thrills people more than gambling and it has become a part and parcel activity during Chinese New Year in Singapore. Gambling indeed is a big business here.

Especially during this Chinese New Year. A long weekend of celebrations, many gamblers visit the local and overseas casinos or slot machines at the local clubs.

Players head down to our very own renowned legalised casinos at Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands. Singapore’s own two casinos ranks in the top 10 as the world’s most expensive casinos. With both casinos worth a near 10 billion dollars and having over 600 tables of entertainment plus close to 3000 slot machines just on these two local casinos. We certainly have one the world’s best entertainment.

What about players with bad credit? These people turn to illegal gambling operators who might offer better rates. Regardless a large number heads down to the local casinos or slot machines to have some good entertainment. Besides with bonuses on hand as extra to their pay, everyone wants to get lucky.

However there’s always the unlucky few who end up succumbing to temptations and borrowing from illegal money lenders. Die-hard gamblers may even go to ruthless loansharks who are more than willing to loan them amounts they could never afford to feed their gambling addictions.

Problem gambling: When people become so addicted to gambling that they can’t stop, no matter how much money they lose or how much it hurts their loved ones. Which is why one should practise responsible gambling and smart choice of money lending if really needed.

Marina Bay Sands, Resort World Sentosa. Both in the Top 10 Casinos in the World

Marina Bay Sands, Resort World Sentosa. Both in the Top 10 Casinos in the World

Let’s Practise Responsible Gambling

Gambling is a form of entertainment. It’s meant to be fun but don’t get compulsive. So please practise responsible gambling if you love the game. If you are not careful it could land you in trouble. Always play within your means and your own risk appetite. This is why the local government implemented the Self Exclusion Act and even a hotline for those seeking to talk about their gambling addiction.

All these initiatives are supported by the local National Council on Problem Gambling. They have been actively promoting one to come forth and talk to them about their gambling habits and start practising responsible gambling. Seek aid when you need before it’s too late.

  1. Know your limits
  2. Practise Responsible Gambling
  3. Talk to your loved ones about your gambling problems
  4. Seek help if you have a gambling addiction
  5. Apply for the self-exclusion program to protect your loved one

The bottom line here is  “Be honest about it and practise responsible gambling”

Gambling & Illegal Lending

Now let’s talk about those who borrow from illegal moneylenders.  Those tempted to play time and again and borrow money from many sources. Your relatives will shun you. Your friends start leaving you. And you turn to illegal money lenders to support your lifestyle or your family. It’s common for people with bad credit to turn to illegal money lenders thus putting themselves in high risks.

This issue can be avoided if you have done your research better and earlier. All you have to do is consider your options and be sensible, once again play within your means. Apply for a loan when’s its needed and necessary.

If you need a loan in the short term to repay a small debt, apply from legitimate money lenders at the very least to get your own personal loan or payday loan. There are many legitimate money lenders out there offering competitive rates and fast cash for your needs.

Like this Chinese New Year you might be thinking of holding a celebration and money might be tight as the many festivities before CNY took most of your budget up. Consider getting a payday loan for a cash advance to help you out on the budgeting and you can settle it on your next pay cheque.

Payday Loan

Stuck elsewhere? Not an issue. Licensed money lenders have adapted to trends and most of them have the dedicated service to apply online and they will get back to you usually within an hour with quotes on your loan amount. Payday loans are simple short-term loans usually granted to let the borrower get throughout the next pay cheque.

It usually requires a simple approval from a licensed money lender. The lead time may vary, but it’s almost same day service. Empire Global is one such secure and licensed money lender offering flexible payday loan schemes.  This helps the borrower to tide over and ease his financial liabilities with additional assistance

Application Process

Speaking of your credit score, you should know that this is a major factor when it comes to the personal loan application process. To obtain this type of unsecured loan, you need to have decent credit and be able to prove your income by showing pay stubs. When you apply for a payday loan, however, you only need to show identification and proof that you can repay the amount you borrow by payday.

Always remember to place serious consideration when applying for a loan. Only take up loans from legal sources and borrow what you need. This way you can manage your money better. If you have difficulties in repaying a loan, simply ask and negotiate with your moneylender and the credit officers would be most likely be kind enough to draw up repayment plans or a better interest rate to suit your situation.

Some key points to take away

  1. Practise Responsible Gambling
  2. Avoid illegal money lenders
  3. Consider the options and get the right loan for yourself