He may have had you laughing as Recruit Ismail in Ah Boys to Men, but actor Ridhwan Azman is no stranger to controversy in real life.
In 2013, he admitted to and apologised for slapping and hitting his girlfriend. This time, though, he’s in the headlines for promoting a box.
Reader: A box?
Website Promoted By Ah Boys To Men Actor Ridhwan Blocked By Police For Being A Remote Gambling Site
Drakemall might sound like a shopping centre designed by a certain famous rapper, but it’s actually a virtual mystery box website headquartered in Ireland.
According to The New Paper, the website promises users the chance to win gadgets by opening virtual boxes that they can buy at prices ranging from less than US$1 (S$1.35) to about US$140 (S$188).
Sounds fun, right?
Well, it’s recently been discovered to be a remote gambling site and was blocked sometime last week following a directive by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The problem was that Ridhwan promoted it before it was blocked.
Won an iPhone 11 by opening a box
In a 13-minute video on YouTube, Ridhwan, who goes by the username Ridhwannabe, claimed to have won an iPhone 11 by opening a box for $6.50.
As you know, the iPhone 11 costs a tad more than $6.50, so viewers must have been intrigued.
In the video, he also takes users through the sign-up process and encourages them to use the referral code with his name for extra perks.
The video received close to 70,000 views as of last Friday but has since been taken down. In an interview with TNP, Ridhwan said he was approached by them to do a promotional video, which makes sense because he has over 500,000 YouTube subscribers.
Ridhwan, however, claimed he was not aware that Drakemall was an online gambling site. He also said that many other YouTubers around the world were promoting it.
“When I was approached by the client, he mentioned that it’s a mystery box game and that was also what it seemed like to me,” he said.
“I would like to reiterate that I had no idea that it’s an online gambling site. My career is very important to me and I will not do anything to risk it”, he added.
Remote gambling illegal
A police spokesman clarified that remote gambling is prohibited unless granted an exemption by the MHA.
This includes the sale of mystery boxes online.
“Individuals who provide an overseas remote gambling service with a Singapore-customer link or a Singapore-based remote gambling service, without an exemption, would have committed offences under the Remote Gambling Act 2014.”
So, if you’re thinking of coming up with your own mystery box website, you should probably reconsider, unless you want to be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
And even if you just promote such a service, you can still be fined up to $20,000.
One has to ask the question, though: Why are some forms of gambling acceptable and others not?
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