‘Machine’ giving out free cash caused so much chaos at Raffles Place that police had to step in

Raffles Place was chaotic as a “machine” gave out free cash on Feb 28, 2018.
Photo supplied to Business Insider courtesy of Roland Yeo.

Who doesn’t love the idea of free money?

Unfortunately, a gimmick promising easy cash on Wednesday (Feb 28) turned Singapore’s usually crowded but organised financial district into a picture of ultimate chaos.

Not so lovable after all.

According to listings posted online, a “pay $3, get $50” stunt was scheduled to take place between 12pm and 3pm at Raffles Place Green.

Response to the event was overwhelming to say the least, with a huge and disorderly crowd quickly flooding the entire outdoor area by noon.

Instagram posts by the organiser, which calls itself 3dollarballer, show that a similar event was held at Somerset on Tuesday. During that event, a person in a cash vending “machine” handed out $50 notes to anyone who deposited $3.

A post shared by 3DollarBaller (@3dollarballer) on

Judging by photos posted online, the crowd that showed up at Raffles Place was a lot hungrier than the passers-by at Somerset the day before.

Photos posted by witnesses to the Raffles Place event show hundreds of people squeezing into the space at Raffles Place Green under the blistering sun.

An eye-witness told Business Insider that he saw someone fall in the rush to get nearer to the machine.

A Twitter user also said she had a less than pleasant experience due to being pushed and shoved.

But just as the rush for money got more and more intense, the organiser suddenly called off the event, two hours ahead of its scheduled end time.

The Singapore Police Force confirmed to Business Insider that an event had indeed taken place outside Chevron House on Wednesday.

With no proper queue system and a growing crowd, the organisers were asked to produce a permit for the event.

But the organisers could not do so, and subsequently chose to stop their event prematurely.

An updated posted by the organiser on social media later stated that a third event scheduled for Wednesday evening in Orchard has been cancelled.

“Unfortunately the event at Orchard later will no longer push through as all the $50 notes are fully redeemed,” the organiser wrote.

A post shared by 3DollarBaller (@3dollarballer) on

There was no mention of the incident at Raffles Place earlier in the day.

Thankfully, no injuries have been reported from the madness which unfolded.

This is a good reminder to all event organisers, that while free money is always a great idea, licences and permits should also be at the top of priorities.