The FIFA World Cup for eSports has already begun, and in a week, the real-world tournament will start. Everyone who is passionate about sports is getting ready, including those in countries’ that do not allow sports wagering. Many countries are struggling with what to do about internet access and online casinos.
Police in Hong Kong are stepping up their efforts to block sports betting. In fact, across Asia police are battling sports wagering where it is illegal due to a surge in betting on the World Cup results.
So, what will police do? They are going to try to stop the illegal operations, but there are still some places that can access sports wagering using the underground. One such story includes the Hong Kong prisoners.
Selling Lungs to Wager
Hong Kong’s prisons are the place for gambling activity, as the countdown towards the 2018 World Cup continues. Monday, Hong Kong’s Correctional Services Department stated that officers have conducted 3,000 prison searches in the first five months of 2018. They uncovered forty-five inmates running illegal gambling operations. The limit to their freedom is significant; however, it does not seem to stop the prisoners from taking bets.
Guards stated $166,000 is the total sum being wagered through the prison. They are mostly using cigarettes for the currency. In a matter of speaking, this means the prisoners are wagering with their lungs because as they smoke more, they are making it more possible to contract cancer. The number of cigarettes and monetary wagers is not the same for the 2014 World Cup. During that time, 300,000 Hong Kong Dollars were wagered.
Hong Kong also stated they expect the regular population to place over $3.2 billion in illegal wagers on the World Cup. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is just one place they may place these wagers. Illegal bookies are expected to make around $750 million Hong Kong Dollars. It is based on the Hong Kong Jockey Club numbers that illegal bookies are more likely to make huge amounts of money versus their legal business.
The jockey club is up in arms that illegal bookies can make this money since the police should be trying to stop them. But, with so many people, including the 176 arrests in 2014, who turn to illegal betting during the World Cup, it is hard to keep up with all entities running the illegal sports betting rings despite the anti-betting campaign that is stepping up.