$1.5 Billion Bitcoin World Cup Betting Bust by Police in China
As the ongoing football World Cup draws to a close, Police in China has uncovered an illegal bitcoin gambling ring.
Authorities in the Chinese province of Guangdong announced the arrest of 540 people involved in an illegal online football gambling operation who accumulated 10 billion RMB ($1.5 billion) from more than 330,000 customers who mainly used Bitcoin as a gambling currency in wagered bets on football.
Gambling is illegal under Chinese law and the very act of participating in online gambling or facilitating/opening a gambling platform brings criminal liabilities.
Police noticed the illegal gambling gang in May, and the operation had been active for eight months, during which the betting platform attracted over 330,000 members from several countries and regions.
The gambling platform promised support for betting in Bitcoin, Ethereum’s Ether token and Litecoin, the announcement said. Authorities accused the platform of amassing profits through a pyramid scheme that encourages members, or ‘agents’, to bring in others to raise their own commissions.
Police cracked down on several core members of the gambling operation and confiscated over 15 million Yuan in assets and cryptocurrency citing “unauthorized operators of such online football gambling can easily manipulate the odds according to gamblers’ stakes.”
Severs, computers, smartphones and bank cards were also seized during the crackdown which has seen authorities shut down seventy mobile apps and websites alongside 250 online chat groups overall.
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