Gambling website targeting teens blocked


  • ASEAN+
  • Tuesday, 21 Jan 2020

SINGAPORE: A mystery box website offering electronic gadgets, fashion wear and beauty products as prizes has been blocked here after a Singaporean actor promoted it on YouTube.

Drakemall, a virtual mystery box website headquartered in Ireland, was promoted by actor Ridhwan Azman in a sponsored YouTube video on Dec 22 last year.

The site, which touts itself as a “mystery box marketplace”, promises users the chance to win gadgets by opening virtual boxes that they can buy at prices ranging from less than US$1 (RM4) to about US$140 (RM570).

Responding to queries, a police spokesman said the authorities assessed Drakemall to be a remote gambling service.

The site was blocked sometime last week following a directive by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

In the 13-minute video by Ridhwan, who goes by the username Ridhwannabe, he claimed to have won an iPhone 11 by opening a box for S$6.50 (RM19.60).

The phone’s retail price is about S$1,000 (RM3,010).

He also takes users through the sign-up process, encouraging them to use the referral code with his name for extra perks.

The 26-year-old actor’s main claim to fame was playing Recruit Ismail in Jack Neo’s Ah Boys to Men series from 2012.

It appears Drakemall was using him to try and attract young gamblers as his 500,000-plus YouTube subscriber base is largely aged 12 to 18 years.

From public bickering and passing off stock images as their own to breaking the law, some online personalities have been embroiled in controversy through the years.

The video received close to 70,000 views as of last Friday but has since been taken down.

Ridhwan said he was not aware that Drakemall was an online gambling site.

He also claimed that many other YouTubers around the world were promoting it. — The Straits Times/ANN

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