(Adds comment from anti-gambling council))
By Caroline Ng
SINGAPORE, July 9 Singapore has scored an own
goal with its World Cup anti-gambling ad which features a
crestfallen boy telling his friends his dad bet his life savings
on Germany - who have just reached the finals by thrashing host
nation Brazil 7-1.
The video, which has run every day of the World Cup, went
viral on social media soon after the Brazil game ended and
Singapore government ministers were quick with some
"Looks like the boy's father who bet all his savings on
Germany will be laughing all the way to the bank!" Manpower
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin wrote on his Facebook page.
"Germany beat Brazil 7-1! Brazil need to find out what went
wrong and I need to find the script-writer for the gambling
control advertisement," appropriately named Minister for Trade
and Industry Teo Ser Luck said in another post.
The National Council on Problem Gambling said the ad was a
timely reminder of the possible effects of gambling on loved
ones and not to get carried away in the "excitement and hype" of
the World Cup.
"Selecting Germany injected a sense of realism in our
messaging, since no one will bet on a potentially losing team,"
a spokesman said. "At the end of the day, win or lose, the
dangers of problem gambling, and the potential anxiety and pain
that loved ones go through, remain unchanged."
The anti-gambling campaign comes as some Singaporeans have
been embroiled in one of the world's biggest match-fixing
scandals. Last year, an enquiry by European police forces
uncovered a global betting scam run from Singapore.
The affluent city-state, known for its strict law and order,
has been pulling out all stops to stamp out illegal betting.
Gambling is so entrenched that the government launched the
anti-gambling organisation in 2005 - before it allowed two
multi-billion dollar gaming resorts to open in 2010.
(Editing by Anshuman Daga and Nick Macfie)