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Singapore anti-gambling ad fails after German win

SINGAPORE -- An anti-gambling advert that featured a man putting his son's life savings on Germany winning the World Cup was widely panned by Singaporeans online Wednesday after it was shown during Brazil's crushing defeat.

The advert by Singapore's National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) featured a group of boys excitedly discussing who will triumph in the ongoing World Cup.

At the end, one of them said while frowning: “I hope Germany wins. My dad bet all my savings on them.” The screen then faded out to a message cautioning about the social fallout of gambling.

But for many Singaporeans the cautionary message fell on deaf ears as Germany romped home to a record breaking 7-1 victory over Brazil — the worst semi-final defeat in World Cup history.

The advert first aired at half time, when Germany were already 5-0 ahead, prompting much mirth and ridicule online, including from two top government officials.

“Bad timing,” Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore's manpower minister, wrote on his Facebook page. “Looks like the boy's father who bet all his savings on Germany will be laughing all the way to the bank!”

“At least the boy in the advertisement can get his savings back,” added Teo Ser Luck, a junior minister in the trade ministry.

A meme of the commercial by local blogger Lee Kin Mun with the caption “Always trust your father. #GER 7 : #BRA 1” went viral on Twitter Wednesday morning.

Dozens of other memes related to the commercial were also circulating on social media.

Sports betting is deeply entrenched in wealthy Singapore, with many placing punts with illegal betting outfits that offer higher returns compared to legal betting.

Germany now face an encounter with either Argentina or the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

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