KUALA LUMPUR Illegal betting syndicates in a northern Malaysian state have refused bets on the number of the hotel room where an ex-government minister was allegedly filmed having sex, the New Straits Times said on Monday.
Bookies in Perak declared the number 1301 off-limits in a numbers game, disappointing punters who had hoped to make a killing on the room where former health minister Chua Soi Lek was purported to have been taped engaging in sexual acts with an unidentified woman.
Chua resigned after the video was widely circulated in the southern state of Johor.
"We are not taking any more chances this time around," the paper quoted an unidentified source as saying.
"The last time we accepted bets after a particular set of numbers was published on the front page of a Chinese daily, we were badly hit and lost several million ringgit."
The report said illegal syndicates in the state lost millions of ringgit in 2006 when the death toll figure of bomb blasts in an Egyptian resort won first prize.
In that incident, some bookies only managed to pay winners 20-30 percent of their winnings while some did not pay at all.
But in the latest case, 1301 was not among the winning numbers, the newspaper said.
(Reporting by Liau Y-Sing; Editing by Jerry Norton)