A total of 68 people in China’s Guangdong province were sentenced to jail terms from one year and five months to nine years in the country’s largest online casino case.
A local court handed the sentence on July 4.
The case involved bets totalling RMB484 billion (US$78 billion) from March 2008 to April 2013, according to a report from China’s official news agency Xinhua, quoting a statement from the Liwan district people’s court in the provincial capital of Guangzhou.
Of those convicted, 55 were found guilty of opening online casinos, seven guilty of gambling and six guilty of both crimes.
The gambling ring used overseas-based websites to lure gamblers to place bets, according to the court.
All forms of gambling, except lotteries, are illegal in mainland China. Macau is the only place in the country where casino gambling is allowed.
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"We warn the cross-border gambling crime suspects to stop their criminal acts, to return to the country, and turn themselves in so that they could still be granted lenient treatment"
Spokesman from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs