Another day, another 2014 FIFA World Cup betting bust. Singapore authorities have arrested eight men suspected for illegal betting activities; some as bookies, some as punters. The alleged bookies are believed to have processed around S$750k (US $600k) in World Cup wagers over the past two weeks. Police seized S$190k in cash along with numerous computers and betting records. The alleged bookies are facing maximum sentences of five years in jail and fines of S$200k, while those who merely bet with them are looking at up to six months and fines of S$5k.
In Cambodia, news of a pre-World Cup strike against some North Korean online gambling operators has only just leaked out. Back in April, police detected an online football betting operation in a rented villa in Phnom Penh. According to the Yonhap news agency, the 15 North Koreans who were arrested are suspected of using their betting site to earn hard currency that would be sent back to the hermit kingdom. The group was also reportedly engaged in cyber warfare against South Korea government sites, which would make for one really complicated parlay wager. “I’ll take Argentina over Belgium and the Ministry of Finance’s website going dark by noon on Sunday.”
If it’s not cops beating the bookies, it’s punters. An Australian bettor turned a $10 accumulator into a $71,181 payday by correctly predicting the results of all eight World Cup second round matches, culminating with Tuesday’s normal-time draw between the US and Belgium. The punter placed his wager with Paddy Power’s local subsidiary Sportsbet, whose PR manager Christian Jantzen called it “the best multi I’ve ever heard of. The punter probably hasn’t slept for the past four days but I dare say it was worth the ride.”
Meanwhile, Shanghai police have reprimanded a college student who faked her own abduction in order to cover her World Cup betting losses. China Topix reported that the student lost RMB 1k ($161) wagering online, but instead of sucking it up and subsisting on Ramen noodles for a couple months, she sent a text message to her mother, posing as a kidnapper who wanted RMB 20k ($3.2k) in ransom or else he’d pimp the girl out to a bar owner. Police investigating the ‘abduction’ went to the house of the girl’s friend to ask questions, only to find the student inside… watching World Cup matches. If we were her parents, we’d be seriously contemplating pimping the brat out ourselves.