BUSINESS

Asia’s cross-border gambling ring busted

TAGs: China, illegal gambling ring, Laos, Myanmar, Shanghai

Chinese authorities busted a “cross-border gambling ring” with illegal operations extending to Laos and Myanmar.

Asia's cross-border gambling ring bustedReuters reported the syndicate were allegedly responsible for smuggling 400 Chinese national out of the mainland and into Laos and Myanmar, which is in violation of the Chinese law.

The smuggled Chinese nationals were either brought to the said Southeast Asian countries either to work there or to gamble in casinos. The gamblers were believed to have wagered more than RMB500 billion (US$72.56 billion), according to the report.

In Jincheng city in Shanxi province, authorities reportedly rounded up at least 94 people.

The operation, according to the report, stemmed from a 2013 murder case. It was believed that the victim was killed due to an alleged unpaid gambling debts. The suspects in the murder case were believed to be connected to the operations of the alleged gang.

During the course of their investigation, Chinese authorities rescued a total of eight gamblers that were allegedly being detained by the ring for unpaid gambling debts. The report failed to mention when the police operation was carried out.

Chinese authorities have been keeping a close watch on casino operators who have been engaging in attracting high rollers from the mainland to gamble overseas by tweaking their respective marketing strategies.

They launched an operation called “Chain Break” in August 2015, which aims to reign high rollers in the country. It was believed that the arrest of Crown Resorts staffers – including three Australians led by Crown Resort’s international VIP program head Jason O’Connor – last October was part of the supposed operation.

Shanghai sets up online gaming association

In other Chinese gambling news, Shanghai-based, online gaming companies have established an association to promote the healthy development of the industry.

The group, which was set up over the weekend, said that Shanghai’s 600 online gaming enterprises employs 60,000 people, according to Xinhua. The sector is valued at 36 billion yuan ($5.3 billion), or one third of the nation’s total.

Chen Libiao, president of the association and COO of Youzu Interative Co Ltd, said the association will promote research, exchange, training, exhibitions, intellectual property protection, and information sharing in Shanghai’s gaming industries.

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