According to local reports, police in China have busted an illegal betting operation that took in football bets worth over HK$120m (US$15.4m).
The police were also able to confiscate cash worth over HK$10m, and betting records that confirmed the operation was worth more than HK$120m.
Three men, aged 26 to 38, were arrested during the early hours of Thursday, charged for bookmaking and operating premises for the facilitating of bookmaking. It is believed that one of the men was the “mastermind” of the project, whilst the other two were seen as “core members”.
The police raided three premises in Kowloon and New Territories, including a hotel room in Hung Hom, which was used by the organisation as an illegal betting centre.
It was reported that the men took bets from gamblers on match days through social media or phone. They then asked gamblers to pay cash when closing the accounts, which was done to make it harder for the police to trace them.
Along with the HK$10m and betting records, the police also managed to confiscate a “huge number” of phones, computers, currency-counting machines and a pile of bank documents.
The police believe that the operation took HK$10m every month, with a single bet of HK$100,000 having been placed when the police analysed the records.
According to the Gambling Ordinance, if someone is convicted of bookmaking or operating premises for facilitating bookmaking, they could be fined HK$5m and face seven years in jail.