More than RMB18 billion (US$2.9 billion) changed hands in cases of illegal football gambling detected by the authorities in mainland China during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Xinhua, an official news agency, cited the figure on Saturday, quoting the Ministry of Public Security. The media outlet added that a total of 108 suspects within the country were arrested for involvement in the activity.
In one case, an online soccer gambling site serving mainland customers was found to be operating from a server in the Philippines, reported Xinhua, again quoting the ministry.
The outlet said that on July 4, police from eight mainland provinces raided alleged agents in mainland China of that particular alleged cross-border gambling website. They detained 17 suspects, and confiscated or froze assets amounting to more than RMB30 million of alleged illegal income.
“Investigations found that the server of the gambling website is based in the Philippines, and the criminal gang behind the website has obtained illegal gains of over RMB200 million through exacting commissions and ‘super membership’ fees,” added Xinhua.
On July 1, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, said the soccer tournament in Brazil – which ended on Sunday – had been a factor contributing to the decrease of the city’s gross gaming revenue in June.
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”The Philippines has been the primary growth driver, but really the broader Asian gaming industry is something that’s really important to us”
Chief executive of casino equipment provider Light & Wonder