Chinese police bust World Cup crypto gambling ring

Officials in Guandong Province warn police will continue to crack down on online gambling gangs

Chinese authorities busted an illegal World Cup gambling syndicate worth more than US$1.5 billion (£1.13 billion) in what is believed to be the first major instance of a Bitcoin (BTC) sports betting crime in the country.

The Guandong Provincial Public Security Department explained that the investigation into crypto gambling began in May after police detected a virtual gambling platform that allowed users to pay with cryptocurrencies.

Police say they arrested six people in connection with the gambling platform, which operated on the dark web, and had 330,000 users. This discovery is the result of a broader police investigation into the illegal 2018 World Cup betting activity in China. They reported the arrest of 540 people under suspicion of being allegedly involved in online gambling networks, over 70 gambling apps and websites shut down and more than 260 million yuan seized (£29.4 million).

“The online gambling crime gangs were closely organised, with a mostly pyramid-style organisational structure, recruiting agents at various levels, developing members at various levels and profiting from the middle members’ betting amount,” police said.

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