Seven jackpot clubs are getting the boot

Seven clubs operating jackpot machines in Singapore have been given notice to wind down their operations by April next year, Channel News Asia reports.

The clubs failed to meet the new criteria affecting fruit machines, which came into play earlier this month, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The new rules include restricting entry to those aged 21 and below, and limiting operating hours from 10am to 11pm.

Two of the affected clubs, Gombak United Football Club and Tanjong Pagar United Football Club – have submitted appeals, arguing that the jackpot earnings was crucial for the clubs to return to playing professional football.

“Every club would hope to make their club a successful commercial model but (that) means being able to attract good sponsors," said Gombak United FC chairman John Yap.

"In the context of Singapore, for us, as with many other clubs, we have problems attracting sponsors … we may have to take drastic action and maybe consider closing our club in the long term if we are unable to continue the funding from the jackpot machines," he said.

“We hope the authorities will review … and understand our football aspirations,” he added.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore had around 82 jackpot venues in July, with almost 1,900 jackpot machines. The Ministry of Home Affairs said the police have issued permits to 65 clubs.

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