The government of China has been relentless in their efforts to put a stop on illegal gambling activities in the country and abroad. Since gambling was banned in China in 1949, many groups have been created facilitating access to gambling facilities outside the country's borders for wealthy Chinese gamblers. One such group was busted a few days ago, with 94 individuals being detained on illegal gambling charges.
$72 Billion Illicit Gambling Ring
According to reports from Xinhua news service, the ring was providing services for wealthy Chinese whales who traveled abroad looking for gambling thrills. The reports mention 400 players who used the services of the ring to reach gambling destination in Myanmar and Laos, spending the equivalent of $72 billion dollars combined.
The police have been keeping a close eye on the ring since 2013, when they caught the attention of the authorities following a murder motivated by unpaid gambling debts. The authorities had spent next few years gathering evidence and collecting facts, finally leading to a huge clamp-down.
Immense Popularity of Gambling in China
Despite it being illegal in the country, gambling remains one of the favorite pastimes of Chinese people, particularly the wealthy ones. Since they can't find what they are looking for within China's borders, they turn to alternative methods provided by illegal gambling rings like the one that was shut down a few days ago.
These recent arrests are a continuation of increased efforts of Chinese authorities to stop foreign agents from luring players to gambling establishments across the border. In October, the police even arrested 17 employees of the Crown Resorts and proceeded to raise charges against three of them based on illicit gambling activities. One of the Crown Resorts employees facing charges is supposedly a senior VIP manager in charge of high roller customers.
1,200 Chinese Citizens Detained in Philippines
China is not the only Asian country waging war on illegal gambling. Last Friday, the police in Philippines raided Fontana Leisure Parks & Casino, arresting more than 1,200 Chinese citizens suspected of being call agents for an illegal online casino.
A number of these employees have been found to be working in Philippines illegally, further complicating the situation. The Philippines' authorities released a statement saying that all arrested individuals will be properly processed, charged, and deported. At the same time, Chinese government requests individuals with proper paperwork to be released.