Chinese police crackdown on illegal gambling machines

As with many other countries in Asia, gambling is highly illegal in China and Chinese authorities are constantly on the lookout for new gambling locations and websites, both online like M88 Vietnam and offline brick and mortar casinos. One trick that Chinese underworld crime rings used to “cover their tracks” is by using video game arcades and Internet cafés as covers for their online gambling rings and disguising gambling machines as videogame machines.

Last year for example, in the Hubei province of China, over 30 people were detained by the police for illegal video gambling inside a local video arcade. The arcade was not only shut down but all of the games were taken away and destroyed.

The Ministry of Public Security in China also reported that an underground network was supplying gambling machines to over 30 different Chinese provinces and that, in a recent antigambling crackdown, all of them had been shut down.
In April 2013 the Ministry established a joint task force to work hand-in-hand with police in detecting and destroying illegal gambling establishments in those same 30 provinces as well as cities like Guangdong and Zhejiang.

A four-month investigation last year by the task force and police found that Guangzhou Malong Electronics Technology, a small electronics company, and Jinyi Animation Technology, an animation company, both located in the city of Guangzou,  were involved in the underground network.  Both had been involved in manufacturing and then selling gambling machines to various casinos across China, all of which were disguised as video games.

Not only were the two companies manufacturing the bogus video games, but they were also both involved in operating the casinos where they were being used.

Another operation by the task force and police in August 2013 seized more than 20,000 gambling machines from 5 different factories. During the raid they arrested over 1500 suspects and discovered nearly US$20 million worth of gambling money in Chinese Yaun.

The entire operation was quite sophisticated. Each gambling machine had a chip embedded in it that recorded how much money it made, information that was transferred to bosses in Guangzhou. Passwords on those chips were periodically rebooted as well so that the bosses could  control the casinos and divide their profits equally.

In January of this year the Ministry again joined forces with local Chinese police when they launched and anti-gambling crackdown in 18 different Chinese provinces. During that crackdown they were able to discover a syndicate that was manufacturing bogus gambling machines in  69 different counties and cities in China.