Vietnam Busts Biggest Illegal Online Gambling Ring
Cracking down on a massive illegal online gambling ring, Vietnam’s law enforcement nabbed at least 380 Chinese nationals over the weekend for reportedly running illicit online gambling operations Hai Phong, which is not very far from Hanoi.
During the raid of the high-security urban area in Haiphong City, Vietnamese authorities’ found more than 100 rooms from which online gambling websites were being run. The bust yielded 533 laptops, 2,000 smarts, ATMs, and cash, as well as other machines and devices allegedly used in the illegal online gambling operations of the ring. The arrested Chinese nationals were aged between 18 and 24.
Before being nabbed, the illicit gambling ring had already processed more than $435 million in illegal online gambling transactions based on a report released by law enforcement.
In a statement, Vietnamese authorities noted that illegal gambling rings in the country have grown a lot more sophisticated in their operations, especially when it comes to online gambling. Law enforcement added that this organized crime ring was operating under the guise of a foreign investment venture in Vietnam.
The bust marks the largest number of foreign nationals arrested in the country and the biggest illicit online gambling operation being exposed. This online gambling operation took place in a 43-hectare upscale township developed by Hong Kong-based Qiafeng Company in Duong Kinh. This urban establishment was completed in 2015 and features a slate of premium apartments and five-star hotels, as well as commercial and entertainment complexes.
In November, two senior police officers were incarcerated after being found guilty of running illicit online gambling operations that had already raked in millions of dollars in revenue.
Gambling is largely banned for Vietnam citizens, but foreign passport holders are permitted to gamble in the country’s eight local casinos. In recent years, Vietnam’s one-party state has gradually began relaxing its laws on domestic gambling, permitting citizens to wager on a trial basis in some local casinos and legalizing some forms of sports betting.
Asian Countries Are Hubs For Illegal Online Gambling
Vietnam is not the only Asian country that is dealing with an increase in illegal online gambling activity. There are a number of Asian countries including Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines that have witnessed multiple online gambling websites popping up catering exclusively to the Chinese market.
China has so far not cracked the whip and targeted these illegal online gambling activities preferring to let each country deal with the increase of illegal iGaming activities on their own.