China Breaks Up a $300 Million Philippine Illegal Gambling Ring
Illegal gambling across the United States and around the world still accounts for billions of dollars of revenue on an annual basis. One of the biggest sources of this revenue is illegal sports betting. Indeed, one such operation was busted in China.
How Does China Break Up a $300 Million Philippine Gambling Ring?
Police in the Anhui Province of China reportedly broke up a $312 million-dollar gambling ring that has strong ties with a Philippine sports betting website. Going back to 2016, as many as 10,000 sports bettors have registered accounts on the site according to Xinhua news. As part of the ongoing investigation, it was also reported that local police have made seven arrests in conjunction with this case.
Two of those defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from three years to three years and two months. The other five defendants will appear in court for sentencing at a later date.
Cross-Border gambling Case
The cross-border gambling case came about in 2018. This was after a gambler admitted to authorities in Anhui’s Susong County that he lost over $100,000 US on the sports betting site.
It was noted that the Philippines is widely known for illegal gambling. Acting president Rodrigo Duterte has his law and gambling enforcement agencies actively scrutinizing these gambling rings. Taking office in 2016, he started his term at odds with the gaming industry in general.
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The president originally went on record and being anti-gambling. Last October, he stepped his efforts by cracking down on unlicensed online gambling sites. However, he recently stated that he wants the Philippines to become “the top gaming and entertainment destination” in Southeast Asia by 2020. His main enforcement efforts are geared towards illegal operations bypassing government taxes.
The country’s licensing authority is the Philippines Gaming and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR). They are responsible for issuing the proper credentials to run an offshore network. Over the past two years, over 170 online gaming enterprises have been raided for alleged illegal activities. It is also estimated that has many as 100,000 Chinese foreigners are in the country working with these sites. Authorities claim that most of these illegal operations target the Chinese gambling market.
Legal Casinos In The Philippine’s?
It was also noted that Philippine’s legal casinos registered $3.6 billion in gross earnings in 2018. Duterte was also quoted as saying “pay the correct taxes, gamble until you die. I do not really care.” This was in relation to his current stance on legal online gambling.
The Chinese government have employed the use of drones to locate illegal mobile casinos in Anhui Province. This has led to the arrest of 35 suspects. These illegal casinos are housed in tents and continually on the move. Police have also employed this tactic in Guangxi, Hubei and Guangdong provinces to locate and arrest illegal gambling operators.
With the exception of Macau, gambling remains illegal in China. Anyone caught gambling illegally can face up to three years in prison. Running an illegal gambling operation can result in a 10-year prison sentence.
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