Hong Kong has seized $463 million in illegal gambling wagers placed on the Euro 2020 and arrested over 800 suspects.
Hong Kong Busts Major Sports Gambling Rings
Euro 2020 is long over, but the ripple effects can still be felt. In places such as Hong Kong, police have been on the lookout for activity that pertains to black market sports gambling on Euro games, and authorities have apprehended over 800 people, seizing a massive $463 million worth of illegal gambling windfall.
The arrests, authorities informed on Monday, were the result of a police operation that accounted for the highest number of arrests booked during an anti-gambling campaign, as well as the highest amount of money confiscated from illegal gambling, at least in the past ten or so years.
Police officers have been able to carry out 137 raids leading to the arrests of 475 men and 349 women, all of whom facilitated illegal gambling operations. There have been different charges levied against the culprits, from carrying out bookmaking operations to participating in betting operations or running illegal gambling establishments, or using those as a front to launder money.
Authorities seized various additional assets, including vehicles and computers. This is one of the most massive arrests related to gambling in the region, but it still pales in comparison to the measures that China is taking to limit illegal gambling.
China Continues Crackdown on Gambling
In October 2020, China apprehended some 60,000 individuals linked to various gambling offenses. China considers cross-border gambling offenses such as advertising overseas gambling destinations a punishable offense.
Gambling has not been very welcome in the region, with most governments enforcing a tight grip on gambling. Despite the stiff penalties that threaten wrongdoers, illegal gambling has proliferated, and it’s especially big around the time of big sporting events.