January 5, 2013 : MACABRE BETS IN TAIWAN CANCER SCANDAL
 
This is truly the sickest wagering of all….
 
Some gamblers in the Republic of Taiwan off the Chinese mainland have plumbed the depths of decency and sensitivity with a new betting craze – a prediction market on when terminally ill cancer patients will die, reports the China Press.
 
The punters, with bets running up to NT$100 million, allegedly include the patients' family members and even the doctors.
 
This sick group charges a membership fee of NT$2,000 from the informal bookies running the scheme, who visit hospitals to seek permission from the patients' families for their critically ill relatives to be entered on the bet lists.
 
The bookies then take the gamblers to the hospital on their next visit to observe the patients.
 
"According to the rules, the bookies win if the cancer patients die within a month," China Press reports. "However, if they die between one and six months after the bets were placed, the gamblers would be paid three times their wager."
 
More than 10 gaming houses, set up by senior citizens' clubs, have mushroomed in Taizhong city, the report concludes.