In a country with few legal gambling opportunities, gamblers risk punishment and turn to underground card rooms.
Police in Kaili city in China’s Guizhou province carried a high-profile raid on an illegal card room earlier this week. 100 people were arrested and roughly RMB 200,000 was confiscated. Each gambler has been order to pay an RMB 5,000 fine and the organizer remains in custody.
A spokesman for the police stated that the operation was very organized, hiring security as well as people to recruit potential gamblers.
Despite being illegal online casinos in China as well as underground card rooms are very popular, especially in rural areas. Police had been investigating the ring for roughly two months. A crackdown on underground gambling has intensified since an explosion in a card room killed 15 people earlier this month.
Chinese gambling isolated to Macau
Chinese gambling laws are very restrictive. Legal casinos are located only in the autonomous city of Macau, which has become the casino gambling capital of the world. However it is only accessible to wealthy Asians with the means to get there and place high wagers at casinos like Sheldon Adelson’s Macau Sands and the Wynn Macau.
For the average Chinese, legal gambling services are not available. This pushes many into the underground gambling market. With incomes on the rise more Chinese have extra money to use gambling. At least for the time being the only outlets lie underground.