Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals "surprised many," NCPG's spokesperson said in an emailed statement. But while the original advertisement aired before the start of the semi-finals, "as the campaign progressed, we took the opportunity to reinforce the fact that problem gamblers find it hard to stop, regardless of the outcome of any single bet."
After opening two casino-resorts in 2010, Singapore has actively tried to minimize the impact of gambling on its population, but it isn't clear how successful it has been.
NCPG's 2011 survey of Singapore residents found that around 47 percent aged 18 and over had participated in at least one form of gambling in the past 12 months and estimated that around 1.4 percent of the survey respondents should probably be classified as pathological gamblers.
Gambling may be a major contributor to Singaporeans who find themselves over their heads in debt.
Around one in four people seeking help with unsecured debts at Credit Counselling Singapore self-report that gambling losses, either by the individual or a family member, are a reason for getting in over their heads, Tan Huey Min, general manager at the registered charity said, although she noted that the bulk of the debt is usually owed to bank credit cards.
—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1