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Singapore man imprisoned for involvement in illegal gambling due connection with LaLiga soccer club owner

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Kho Bin Kai, who was previously married to the daughter of Peter Lim, the owner of LaLiga soccer club Valencia CF, is facing legal issues in Singapore. According to Channel News Asia, he has been sentenced to a few years in prison due to his association with a syndicate that runs various illicit gambling websites.

Kho Bin Kai and socialite Kim Lim, Peter Lim’s daughter, were married for three years before their relationship ended in 2020 due to irreconcilable differences, although Lim never explicitly confirmed the reason behind the split.

It is speculated that Kho’s detention on charges of illegal gambling may have played a role in their divorce. Recently, Kho appeared in court for sentencing, and a judge ordered him to serve a 2-year and 10-month prison sentence and pay a fine of SGD40,000 (US$30,124).

Living the high life in Singapore

Living the high life in Singapore can be challenging, given the country’s strict anti-gambling laws that only allow for limited approved options. Despite this, Kho Bin Kai chose to disregard the law and helped promote several illegal online gambling platforms.

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According to prosecutors, Kho started promoting various sites from as early as 2012, leveraging his connections to build a lucrative business. Initially earning SGD5,000 (US$3,765) per month, he eventually expanded his empire. At its peak, his earnings from just one platform reached SGD40,000 per month.

In 2019, Singaporean authorities carried out a raid on illegal gambling operations across the country, resulting in the arrest of 36 individuals, including Kho. Police confiscated luxury watches, mobile phones, and other items, along with laptops containing evidence of his illicit activities.

At the time, Kho was still married to Kim Lim, and the raid exposed his activities, putting the family in an unwelcome spotlight. Although his lawyers presented him as a reformed man who deeply regretted his actions, the court found him guilty of three counts of violating Singapore’s Remote Gambling Act and two counts of benefiting from criminal conduct.

Despite his pleas, the judge sentenced Kho to imprisonment, which he will begin serving on May 23.

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Peter or Kim Not Involved

There is no evidence to suggest that Peter or Kim Lim were involved in Kho Bin Kai’s illegal gambling activities, although they may have been aware of them. Neither of them faced charges or had to defend themselves against any allegations of wrongdoing.

Peter acquired a 70% stake in Valencia FC in 2014 after amassing a fortune of $2.7 billion in the finance sector. He also has interests in Salford City FC in the English Premier League and UK-based luxury sports car maker McLaren Automotive.

Meanwhile, Kim leads the lifestyle of a billionaire’s daughter, frequently traveling around the world and documenting her experiences on social media. She is also a committed philanthropist, donating a significant portion of her earnings to charitable causes.

However, the past few years have been tumultuous for the 31-year-old. After divorcing Kho, with whom she has a five-year-old son, Kim married tech entrepreneur Leslie Leow in February 2022. However, they filed for divorce just two months later and finalized their separation in February of this year.

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Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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Asia

Karnataka’s Strategic Crackdown on Online Gambling

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Karnataka’s proactive stance against online gambling marks a pivotal moment in India’s approach to regulating digital betting. By advocating for comprehensive legislation and national collaboration, Karnataka aims to create a safer and more responsible online gambling environment. As the state embarks on this journey, its efforts may pave the way for a cohesive national strategy, blending economic considerations with the welfare of citizens in the digital age.


Karnataka’s Stance on Online Gambling

In the wake of growing concerns over the harmful effects of online gambling, Karnataka’s government, led by Home Minister G Parameshwara, has announced its intention to explore comprehensive measures against the digital betting menace. This proactive approach underscores a broader commitment to safeguard citizens from the financial and social distress caused by unchecked online gambling activities.

The Challenge of Regulating Digital Betting

The proliferation of betting and online gambling apps, particularly those centered around cricket, has become a significant issue for families across Karnataka. The state’s government acknowledges the complexity of imposing a ban on online gaming, given that many operations are based outside the state’s jurisdiction, necessitating a coordinated effort at the national level.

Seeking a Comprehensive Policy from the Central Government

The call for a comprehensive policy from India’s central government highlights the need for a unified strategy to combat online gambling. Minister Parameshwara’s stance reflects an understanding that piecemeal, state-level actions are insufficient to address the challenges posed by the digital nature of these activities, which transcend geographical boundaries.

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The Economic Paradox of Online Gambling

IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge sheds light on the paradoxical nature of the online gambling sector, revealing its significant economic footprint. With an estimated worth of Rs 1.6 lakh crore, the sector’s contribution to tax revenue, including TDS and GST, is projected to be substantial in the coming years. This economic consideration adds a layer of complexity to the debate on regulating online gambling.

Navigating the Path Forward

As Karnataka explores legislative avenues and seeks collaboration with the central government, the state sets a precedent for others in India grappling with similar issues. The challenge lies in balancing the economic benefits derived from the online gambling sector with the imperative to protect citizens from its detrimental effects.

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