Chinese punters enjoying the Euro2008 action this week got more than they bargained for when up to 40 police officers raided four underground betting rings in the Guangzhou residential districts of Tianhe, Haizhu, Baiyun and Yuexiu.
Eight people have been detained over the past week following the crack down on illegal gambling on European football matches, police told newspaper reporters from The China Daily.
Police allege that the locations raided were being used for online gambling operations on the Euro 2008 championships in Austria and Switzerland, which ended on Sunday. Betting slips with a value of 6,58 million yuan ($960 000) were seized, along with computer equipment.
Despite gambling being declared largely illegal in China, the Euro 2008 championship attracted huge interest among Chinese football fans. Police have estimated that more than 30 million yuan was wagered via illegal betting websites over the three weeks of the competition.