Taiwan takes down two more election gambling rings ahead of polls

Taiwan takes down two more election gambling rings ahead of polls

Two more high stakes gambling operations were busted in Taiwan several days ahead of the country’s presidential polls.

Taiwan takes down two more election gambling rings ahead of pollsOn Wednesday, police raided two underground gambling rings in New Taipei City and Taichung, local media reported. Authorities claimed the gambling operations “took in large wagers on the outcome of the presidential election.”

Among those arrested were 39-year-old Wang Cheng-lung, the alleged proprietor of the New Taipei City operation, and two of his employees. According to Taipei Times, Wang launched gambling website King Sports Net in May last year, and has reportedly raked in more than NT$100 million (US$2.96 million) from bets on sports matches.

New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesperson Feng Cheng told the news outlet that Wang “created betting pools on the presidential election’s outcome, including bids on the final vote tally and the total difference between the presidential candidates.”

Authorities seized accounts, servers and a number of computers—one of which allegedly contained a bet worth NT$300,0 00, according to the Taipei Times report.

Feng told local media outlets that Wang had already admitted to taking bets on the Jan. 16 presidential election’s outcome. He will be charged with gambling offenses and violating provisions of election law.

Meanwhile, police also shut down another online gambling operation in Taichung.

According to news reports, a 47-year-old man surnamed Chou ran an online site that accepted wagers “on the outcome of the race between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Eric Chu and Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen.”

Prosecutors said records found in Chou’s seized computers and servers showed the site made about NT30 million in profit from October to December 2015, according to Taipei Times. Chou reportedly accepted a total of NT$600 million in wagers in 2015.

Last week, Taiwanese authorities arrested 45 people connected with a gambling ring that netted more than $40 million in bets on the results of upcoming elections.

Authorities said the ring accepted NT$1.4 billion (US$42.36 million) in bets, making it the largest and well-organized operation that authorities has shut down prior to the presidential and legislative elections.

Gaming operations are outlawed in Taiwan, except for the state-run Uniform Invoice Lottery. In 2009, the Taiwanese government finally allowed casinos to be constructed on the islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, though no casino has been built to date.