Hong Kong and Guangdong police on Monday smashed a cross-border gambling ring that took millions of dollars of bets on the upcoming World Cup football matches, Headline Daily reported Tuesday.
In a joint operation, authorities busted the illegal network and confiscated stakes totaling HK$700 million (US$90.3 million) in World Cup-related bets, according to the paper.
Twenty-four men and four women were arrested in Hong Kong and cash worth HK$11 million was seized. An officer of the city’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau was quoted as saying that the group has been operating a cross-border betting network between Hong Kong and Guangdong for quite some time, covering sport events such as soccer games in Europe and South America as well as domestic and overseas horse races. The group is also said to operate three similar networks overseas.
According to the officer, the group takes bets through the internet and a bookie who offers gamblers credit that could be as high as HK$50 million.
Meanwhile, the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department also took action on Monday and arrested three men and women, seizing record stakes of 320 million yuan (US$51.28 million). It is estimated that the group might have taken bets of as much as 500 million yuan per day.
According to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the annual loss from illegal betting by citizens could amount to as much as HK$12 billion. It said it has been exchanging information with the police and maintaining close cooperation to curb illegal gambling networks.
The Jockey Club added that it will enhance efforts to educate the public about the risks involved in illegal bets during the World Cup.
– Contact us at [email protected]