Gambling costs World Cup fans their lives

Updated: 2014-07-03 08:18

By He Na, Meng Jing and Cao Yin (China Daily)

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Fighting back

The Ministry of Public Security released an emergency notice recently targeting gambling gangs and syndicates, especially online, and are beefing up online monitoring.

"I haven't had a moment off since June, especially since the World Cup started," said Wang Qi, a police officer from Wudaokou, Haidian district in Beijing, one of the busiest entertainment areas in the capital.

"We were told to enhance supervision on bars and entertainment places, to help prevent crimes and disputes arising from the World Cup."

He said many fans were gambling on the Internet while they were in bars. He was part of a designated team of about 40 police officers that carried out spot checks on bars and this will be a regular feature.

Police in Beijing did the groundwork even before the tournament started and 750 illegal gambling gangs have been smashed and 3,961 suspects arrested and detained. More than 2.3 million yuan of illicit gambling funds have been retrieved.

"We are carrying out a 'zero tolerance' campaign to tackle gambling online including those that gamble through domestic and overseas casinos, lottery corporations overseas, representatives or bankers that set up gambling agents in the capital, founders of the gambling websites and underground illegal private banks," Beijing police said in a newsletter.

Police across the country have also launched a crackdown on soccer gambling.

The police are also reminding citizens that the majority of gambling websites are registered overseas and are illegal.

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Han Junhong contributed to this story.

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