Law enforcement authorities in China were able to add another feather to their cap, after an investigation led to the successful closure of an illegal online gambling platform based out of Cambodia.
According to a report from local news outlet Xinhua on November 5, police in Nanchang (the capital of Jiangxi province) were able to shut down a “large-scale multinational” online gambling operation, which was alleged to have about 1.2 million users and handled about 30 billion Renminbi ($4.3 billion) in bets.
An Expansive Network Of Illegal Gambling Sites
Per the report, the gambling operation was based in Preah Sihanouk, a province in Cambodia. A successful raid by the Jiangxi police led to the arrest of about 200 support staff, while six of the gambling operation’s owners- including a ring leader who was identified as Wo Moumou- were brought back to China for prosecution.
The gambling operation was said to have operated through several websites, with names such as Macau Casino and Golden Lisboa. The perceived link to Macau isn’t accidental; the region is known to be a gambling enclave, and many illegal gambling companies do their best to create a perception that they are linked to licensed operators as a means of adding more legitimacy to their claims. Sadly, however, this one was not meant to be.
Gambling in Macau
As for Macau, the Chinese administrative region has been experiencing a bit of a dry run with its local gambling industry. Earlier this month, local reports confirmed that revenues accrued from casinos in the region stood at $3.3 billion in October 2019, citing numbers released by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
As Macau Hub reported on November 5, the $3.3 billion earned by Macau casinos represents a 3.2 percent drop from their haul in October 2018, although it is about 19 percent higher than September’s 12-month low of $2.7 billion.
More disturbing is the fact that of the ten months recorded in 2019, gambling revenues in Macau have dropped six times year-over-year, compared with the four, which showed an upsurge. Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the first 10 months of the year also stands at $30.56 billion, 1.8 percent less than the level recorded at the same time in 2018.
Reasons for these vary rather widely, with factors such as the current trade disputes between China and the United States, as well as the protests and civil unrest that have engulfed Hong Kong (and the entirety of mainland China) for the better part of the year, being cited for these significant drops.