01/12/2012 : INTERNET SITE'S POLITICAL PREDICTION GAME BACKFIRES
 
Not much to laugh about at Fun Town
 
A promotional initiative by the Taiwanese internet company Fun Town backfired last week when the local police started an investigative probe into its activities in terms of the island nation's electoral laws.
 
Fun Town was compelled to immediately shut down its politically oriented game "The People's Big Prediction" on Criminal Investigation Bureau claims that it was encouraging internet gambling and could be construed as manipulating public opinion on the run-up to a presidential election.
 
The initiative generated over a million bets in the five days it was operating, police said.
 
In separate police actions associated with the election, at least 14 people have been arrested for allegedly gambling on the outcome of the vote, while an alleged ring collected more than Tw$74 million ($2.47 million) in bets, according to prosecutors.
 
President Ma Ying-jeou is locked in a tight race with the opposition's Tsai Ing-wen, while independent James Soong is trailing far behind, according to local media reports.
 
Gambling is banned in Taiwan, apart from lotteries run by authorised banks.