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Virtual Gambling Operation Busted by Chinese Authorities

5 April, 2009,  Rita Malhotra, Staff writer


In yet another example of how difficult gambling prohibitions are to enforce in this age of ubiquitous multi-media and internet presence, Chinese authorities have arrested an individual for providing virtual gambling services to customers in China.

Gambling is illegal on mainland China, so residents must travel to Macau to satisfy their ravenous appetite to gamble at casinos.  But the number of times residents can travel to Macau per year is limited by Chinese authorities.  They also try to impose rigorous filtering standards on ISPs to block access to offshore online gambling sites, although the effectiveness of this measure is probably questionable.

So there is a massive unsatisfied thirst for gambling opportunities in China, and the arrested Mr Li was attempting to satisfy this thirst via his novel but illegal operation. 

The operation involved a deal with a Philippines land based casino, which streamed real time vision of table game play over the internet  which Li's customers could bet to.  Li took a commission on customer losses.  He even implemented a tiered commission structure for anyone who recruited new players for him.

Eleven people have been arrested and charged with being a part of the scheme which is thought to have involved player bets of over $70 million




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