For those whose side hustles are going to game machines and praying that lady luck is on your side, you might need to rethink your game plan.
Or, if that is your main income, then you might be facing unemployment.
The Singapore Premier League (SPL) has ordered all football clubs to halt their jackpot operations by the end of October this year.
This decision is taken in light of the fact that the SPL would be privatized by next year as it will then fall under the management of Unleash the Roar! (UTR) project, which was started in 2021 with the goal of enhancing Singapore football and advancing the national team into top-tier competitions, such as the 2034 World Cup.
Currently, jackpot games have been a substantial source of revenue for a handful of SPL clubs since the league’s founding in 1996. Revenues generated can go as high as $500,000, excluding costs such as rent and salaries, which tend to vary between the clubs
On top of their earnings, SPL clubs are also handed an estimated budget of $1.2 million to $1.5 million for operations.
Thankfully, the UTR committee has no plans to heartlessly throw the clubs to fend for themselves, especially in this economy.
Increase in Subsidies to Stay Afloat
With Jackpot earnings gone soon, there are talks about a possible increase in club subsidies for the next five years, possibly by as much as 100% of the current annual $800,000 amount.
This new funding aims to raise the local league’s standing and standards in order to broaden its appeal to future investors.
Yet, you cannot expect people to just happily take the changes after dropping a bomb out of nowhere.
Reactions to the Sudden Decision
Unsurprisingly, the abruptness of the news has angered a few club officials.
The announcement was made on 15 September, just six weeks before when operations must cease.
Now, officials must efficiently plan the removal of these jackpot machine spaces within a limited timeframe.
If you are feeling bad about spending money on too much GrabFood, just know that a club had earlier this year spent a “six-figure sum” to modernize and automate its jackpot operations system, while another club had previously employed additional people to oversee its jackpot operations.
Now that’s a lot of damage.
Changes May Have Been Foreshadowed
In hindsight, it is not altogether surprising that jackpot operations are suddenly being clamped down.
Previously, the Ministry of Home Affairs tightened restrictions governing jackpot operations of local clubs earlier this year.
The main changes include stricter eligibility requirements for jackpot machine permits, more restricted entry to jackpot machine rooms, and social precautions such barring people with casino exclusions from entering these rooms.
In May 2018, clubs may refuse to allow those with casino exclusions to enter jackpot machine rooms due to their financial circumstances or their families’ objections.
Additionally, the government has increased social safeguards against gambling, including a 50% increase in casino levies in April 2019.
In the end, it’s not right to say that no one saw this coming.
And if the curb on jackpot machine will affect your livelihood here forth, maybe consider where did you go wrong in your life.
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