In a joint effort with Chinese mainland police, Hong Kong law enforcement has reported a massive bust of an illegal gambling syndicate in the last week of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ninety-three were arrested in China and Hong Kong in a single day of police action.
Hong Kong police report that a total of $1 billion in illegal betting slips were seized in the raids in China alone. The arrests made on the mainland were the end-result of investigations into illegal internet gambling in China since October 2007. Police had estimated Chinese law enforcement to have seized $6.2 million in funds through July 5, but this was later amended in Chinese media to a figure of $7.3 million.
Through the World Cup tournament, Hong Kong officers ultimately impounded about $45 million in betting slips, a more than 400% increase on the 2006 World Cup.
Police stated that the syndicate taking bets on sports in Hong Kong mainly received online and telephone wagers via over 400 bank accounts before being stopped in part of “Operation Copper Flame.”
Though technically gambling is only allowed through the Hong Kong Jockey Cup in Hong Kong, many citizens simply wager at online casinos located outside the Chinese or Hong Kong jurisdictions – mostly because better odds and easier credit may be gotten at nearly any non-Hong Kong online casino or sportsbook.