Friday June 7,2013 : MAJOR CHINESE ONLINE GAMBLING BUST
US$ 10.3 billion Macau ring smashed
There are currently widespread reports in the mainstream Chinese media revealing that enforcement agencies have charged 17 Chinese nationals operating out of Macau as agents for online gambling operators on the island who have been targeting mainland Chinese gamblers.
The bust dates back to the middle of last year following over a year of undercover investigations which revealed that eight internet gambling websites were involved, accepting billions of yuan in wagers from mainland punters.
Estimates of the amount of wagering involved vary by publication between Yuan 80 billion (around US$13 billion) and Yuan 63 billion (about US$ 10 billion).
A 36-year-old man in Shanghai, named as Shou Fei, is allegedly the principal defendant in the case, which covers both online sports betting and casino action. Court documents indicate that he personally earned at least Yuan 11 million (US$1.8 million) during the year he was being investigated.
Shou Fei appears to have organised and managed an affiliate marketing-like structure which paid commissions to its members based on the losses of the players they introduced to the websites.
Shou Fei and his top lieutenant could face serious sentences due to allegations that they were on probation for similar offences at the time of the current bust.
Thursday's proceedings at the People's Court for the Huangpu District saw 10 members of the ring charged with illegal online gambling offences, but so far no sentences, which could be up to three years imprisonment, have been reported.