The ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup has definitely caused a spike in online gambling. The Chinese local police have been carrying out a crackdown on World Cup online bets. As a result, the local police officers have managed to confiscate in excess of $1.5 million worth of digital currency used in the betting.
In addition to seizing the generated loot, the police also have arrested more than 540 people in the South China region for betting on games. Most of those arrested suspects are said to be part of about 20 groups.
Xinhuam, which is a media outlet run by the Chinese state, was the first to report the incident. It has reported that the crackdown has also resulted in the closing down of 70 websites and apps. Online chat groups numbering 250 has also been shut down. It is also reported that the police in the Guangdong Province also confiscated devices. They took away servers, mobile phones, computers as well as computers.
In May the police began to suspect an anonymous gambling site of hosting bets. This is after it ran advertisements claiming that it would accept internationally recognized digital currencies. In a bid to woo users it claimed it would accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether. This led the Guangdong police officials to launch an investigation.
The investigation was able to find out that the platform was based abroad. It also revealed that an ordinary online gambling method was used. However, it was paired with payments in the form of digital currency. The site took advantage of regulatory loopholes, thereby making a killing by concealing revenue using cryptocurrency.
In eight months
Over an eight-month period, the site managed to attract a minimum of $1.5 billion approximated trade volume. Over the said period, more than 300,000 users visited the site.
Of the arrested suspects, six people are said to be the main organizers of the platform. In addition to seizing $1.5 million worth of cryptos, the police have also frozen assets totaling 5 million Yuan.