Taiwan gamblers managed to enrage the island nation’s top prosecutor, by placing real money bets on the outcome of the county’s presidential election to be held in January 14, 2012.
The practice is illegal, yet thousands flock to foreign based bookie websites to wager on the elections or just bet on sports in Taiwan.
What’s surprising to observers is the shocked reaction of the country’s public prosecutor general, Mr. Hyang Shyh-ming, who seemed genuinely surprised by the news that Taiwan’s ethnic Chinese population have been known to enjoy placing a bet on a contest.
Bet on any and every contest – at illegal online casino in Taiwan, at underground Taipei online sports betting centers, or for that matter anywhere, with anyone, and at any time is the norm.
The top prosecutor made a public pledge to crack down with the full force of the Taiwanese gambling laws against anyone even suspected of gambling on the election results. He vowed lengthy jail sentences, hard labor, reeducation, and excruciatingly large fines for all Taiwanese casino fans snared in the crackdown.
Huang Shyh-ming commented on his public vow at a later press conference – “I’ve ordered prosecutors to do everything they can to battle illegal operations linked to the elections. Clean elections are our goal.”
Informers alleged that the bulk of open betting on the election is occurring in the southern and central parts of country where the government is unable to monitor the residents as much as in Taipei.
So far, 294 complaints were received from informants accusing their neighbors, relatives and friends of election related ‘suspected gambling and other economic crimes.’
Taiwan gamblers use violence to improve winning odds
Authorities have a legitimate reason to be concerned since gambling on elections in Taiwan can easily result in an escalation of violence as gamblers try to improve their odds of winning by eliminating the opposition prior to election by any means.
The motive behind the 2004 assassination attempt on former President Chen Shui-bian is suspicious and gambling proponents blame it on Taiwanese casino gangsters. Mr. Chen Shui-bian was grazed by a bullet a few days prior to the election vote and came up in the polls and eventually won the election primarily due to the sympathy vote.
The early 2012 election has very serious political ramification and the two candidates are running neck and neck making this an opportune moment to make a large sum of money through violence.
Mr. Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party is running against Taiwan’s current president – Mr. Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang party which supports better relations with the People’s Republic of China.
We will be watching both the race and Taiwan gamblers and will be bringing you all the latest news right here on GamingZion.