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September 22, 2017

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Senegal's consulate turns illegal casino in Singapore

Singapore police uncovered an illegal gambling den in the consulate of the West African state of Senegal with stakes reaching S$1 million (US$640,200) every night, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.

The daily Straits Times said that while the consulate had been open during the day to issue visas and deal with official business, some 100 gamblers visited the office at night, crowding around three tables to play baccarat, a card game.

It said the man behind the establishment, a Singaporean in his 50s, had set a minimum bet per game of S$100 with the maximum at S$30,000. He had also offered clients loans of up to S$50,000.

A separate room catered to high-rollers with stakes of S$100,000, it said.

Senegal and Singapore established diplomatic relations in 1999 and zthe paper said that the African nation had only set up a consular mission in the city-state in January of this year.

Running an illegal casino is punishable with a maximum fine of S$50,000 and up to three years in jail under Singapore law.

But the wealthy city-state has last year lifted its long-standing ban on casino gambling to boost the tourism and services sectors.

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