Macau Police Bust Online Bet Op With US$13m ln profit

Macau Judiciary Police claim they arrested a number of individuals allegedly involved in the creation and activity of illegal online gambling websites on Thursday, a setup said to require the use of multiple servers locally housed at a data centre leased from a telecommunications company in Macau.

The Macau activities of the ring were reportedly carried out under the front of a “advertising and design company” with online gambling revenues assumed to have been at least MOP100 million (US$12.5 million) until Thursday.

That’s according to a briefing issued to local media on Friday. The police operation resulted in the detention of two Macau ID holders and two people from mainland China, and the recovery of possible evidence from five offices in the ZAPE district of the city, as well as from three flats in Taipa for crime investigation purposes.

The briefing heard police say that those arrested were involved in the development, activity and maintenance for the same reason of several illegal online gambling websites and mobile phone applications.

Any of the sites is suspected to have used branding fraudulently, usually associated with licenced Macau gaming companies. It was presumed that the suspects allowed online betting via some of those websites, as well as live casino play via video connection, hosted at certain locations in either Thailand or Cambodia.

Police spokesmen noted that the Judiciary Police’s arrests were based on intelligence given in May this year by police in mainland China. The suspected ringleader was arrested prior to Thursday’s activity in Zhuhai.

The Judiciary Police reported that since 2016, the illegal online gambling websites had been running, allowing them to collect wagers “by the billions,” although there was no mention of the currency concerned.

According to spokespersons for the Judiciary Police, the four suspects detained in Macau were charged with their suspected involvement in illicit gambling activities and organised crime.