Authorities in Vietnam busted a sports betting ring reportedly worth more than $300 million in the northern part of the country, local media reported.
According to Thanh Nien News, the underground betting ring—which mainly dealt in football—had a total bet value of VND7.6 trillion ($340 million). Investigators said Bui Khac Hien, who lived in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District, operated the website, whose servers were hosted overseas.
Players, mostly from northern and central cities in Vietnam, used fake names and addresses to avoid detection, police said.
The 52-year-old man was arrested over the weekend, the report added. So far, authorities have arrested some 23 people connected with the sports betting ring since June 9. Many of those arrested acted as debt collectors, investigators said.
Gambling is largely illegal in the communist country except for the state-run lottery and a few foreigners-only casinos. The country has been considering relaxing its longstanding prohibition on sports betting, but progress towards passing a legislation remains glacially slow.
Thailand nets 224 people in illegal gambling crackdown
In Thailand, where betting is similarly outlawed, authorities recently arrested a total of 224 people in an illegal gambling center in the town of Danok.
Ninety of the arrested people were Malaysians, according to The Borneo Post.
It wasn’t mentioned if the arrested people were involved in sports betting, which Thai authorities have been keeping a close eye on especially with the ongoing Euro 2016 tournament.
Police general Pongsaphat Pongcharoen announced last week that local authorities will be combing all areas “to stop illegal betting on the tournament,” warning that police “already have some advance information they are working on.”
Under Thailand’s law, people found guilty of illegal gambling could face prison time of anywhere between three months and three years, as well as a fine of between 500 baht and 5,000 baht.