Chinese gambling news reports in the mainstream have been praising law enforcement agencies for breaking an online gambling operations ring based in the Macau Special Administrative Region.
Authorities charged 17 Chinese citizens with aiding and abating illegal gambling, having acted as agents in mainland China for eight casino sites in Macau, soliciting gamblers for these outlets.
Chinese gambling laws ban all games of hazard with the exception of state-run lotteries. Although casinos are legal in Macau, they are also not allowed to offer online services.
Most Chinese internet casinos therefore operate from other countries, where they are not subjected to countermeasures by Chinese authorities, who have been very strict about reining in their citizens’ gambling activities lately.
This particular crackdown reportedly took place about a year ago, but details were released to the media only now. Official estimates place the amounts wagered at the sites involved at an incredible USD 10-13 billion.
The main man on trial is a certain Shou Fei (36), charged with operating illicit sportsbooks and online casinos, profiting USD 1.8 million from the venture at the very least. His “affiliate” system included payments to his agents commensurate with the losses incurred by the gamblers they had recruited.
The defendants may be looking at many years in jail if found guilty.