From the Sunday Times, 13 January:
Punters in Taiwan are betting on when the terminally sick will die. According to the China Press newspaper, more than 10 syndicates have been set up in senior citizens’ clubs in the city of Taichung to bet on the longevity of cancer patients. The paper claims that gamblers even include doctors and patients’ families.
Bookies seek permission from the families and gambler and then visit the patient to assess their condition. Minimum bets are around £40, but some punters have reportedly placed stakes as high as £200,000. If the patient dies within a month, the bookies win. But if they cling on for between one and six months, the gamblers win three times their wager and the families get 10%. China Press says police are investigating.