Nine Chinese citizens have been jailed by a court in China’s Hunan province, over an online betting ring aimed at mainland China customers that prosecutors said grossed CNY197.8 billion (US$28.6 billion) in wagers over seven years from 2014.
The suspects had also allegedly been running a bricks and mortar casino in Myanmar: at Mong La, Shan State, an area bordering China’s Yunnan province, and which is said by international commentators not to be fully under the control of Myanmar’s military government.
The Hunan court described the allegations as a “cross-border” gambling case. The nine – drawn respectively from the provinces of Hebei, Shaanxi, and Henan – were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 18 months to five years, reported Chinese digital media outlet The Paper, on Friday.
The defendants were sentenced for the crime of “setting up casino”; recruiting players for their online gambling practice, accepting bets from players, and providing settlement services for the online gaming activities, the report said, citing Hunan province’s Qiyang People’s Court.
The court also said proxy betting had been involved. The accused had been enabling online bets by mainland Chinese that watched live online video streams of various casino games, including baccarat, being played from the bricks and mortar casino in Mong La.
The online operation had attracted over 253,000 users over the period it was active, the Chinese media outlet reported, citing judicial findings reviewed in the case.
Several other mainland Chinese had been separately sentenced after Hunan court trials in 2019 and 2020, for their involvement in the Mong La-based casino, the news outlet also mentioned.
They were said to have assisted in transferring patrons’ wagers, and in constantly shifting the website and IP address for the proxy betting activities.
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