January 15, 2013

Gambling on who will live and who will die

He's a dead cert: Gamblers betting on whether hospital patients will live or die… and even relatives and doctors have a flutter

A macabre new gambling trend is starting to gather pace in Taiwan where bets are being placed on the life expectancy of sick patients.

\Worth more than £20million ($30m) the death gambling market in the town of Taichun is allowing people to wager a bet on when the old, the cancer-ridden and terminally-ill will die. The craze is not just restricted to ghoulish gamblers - bets have also been placed by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff as well as families and guardians.

According to local media some 60 so-called 'senior citizens clubs' are in place posing as charitable organisations for the elderly. 
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Some pots are reported to have run to more than £1million. The Times reported that some families agree to take part to pay for funeral costs.

Police are said to be investigating the practice and the legal implications. In some cases families are thought to have been offered special bonuses by organisers if they instruct doctors to withhold life-prolonging treatments.
Posted by Jill Fallon at January 15, 2013 3:13 AM | Permalink