China puts 20 in
jail for running online sports betting site
In what appears to be the biggest online gambling heist in
China, a Shanghai court has sentenced 20 people for running an
illegal online sports betting website, it was reported today.
The leaders of the illegal sports betting enterprise, Qian
Baochun, got the thicker end of the stick with the biggest
sentence - 6 years in jail plus fines for creating the online
gambling website. His nineteen accomplices received smaller jail
sentences. According to Chinese authorities, the gambling
website, which offered online betting on European football
matches, was created in time for the 2006 World Cup and has
generated over $1 billion in bets since.
Gambling in any form is illegal in
mainland China, with the exception of the state-run
lottery-style sports betting, which also offers betting on
football games. Meanwhile the enclave of Macau, which is part of
China, has become the world's largest gambling destination.
China is also considering allowing some form of betting on horse
racing, although the possibility of full-fledged horse racing
betting is years away.