Senior officials in the Chinese government speaking at a conference this week revealed the extent of the known illegal internet gambling business in China, informing delegates that the police had instigated 1 400 internet gambling prosecutions over the period January to August 2010 in a nationwide enforcement drive.
In the process, officials froze nearly 1 billion yuan of gambling funds with the cooperation of related organisations, the People's Daily newspaper reports.
Officials disclosed that a number of serious cases were finalised, including five cases each involving an annual gambling turnover of more than 30 billion yuan and 21 cases each involving an annual turnover of more than 5 billion yuan.
Police arrested more than 130 different groups of illegal operators active with gambling websites and supported by overseas syndicates, detaining more than 320 suspects from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and other places whilst they were on Chinese soil.
57 criminal gangs that had provided help for online gambling activities were also disbanded, including 21 gangs that had provided payment services for gambling websites, over 100 of which had been forced to suspend their businesses.
Arising from lessons learned during the widespread initiative, long-term systems have been established and improved, the officials disclosed.
For example, the Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security jointly promulgated the "Opinions on Certain Legal Issues Concerning Internet Gambling Cases," which provided clear conviction and sentencing guidelines in addition to solving other legal issues about online gambling.
The People's Bank of China, China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Public Security jointly established a system that can help inquire into and freeze gambling funds quickly.
And the People's Bank of China unveiled the "Administrative Measures for Payment Services Provided by Non-financial Institutions," which imposes punishments on third-party platforms for providing payment services for Internet gambling and other criminal activities.
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