Chinese police crack down on illegal online gambling during Euro 2024

  • 2 min read
Chinese police crack down on illegal online gambling during Euro 2024

As Chinese fans enjoy recent major football tournaments, police across China have cracked down on several illegal online gambling cases linked to the UEFA European Championship (Euro 2024). Some individuals have exploited the tournament to facilitate gambling under the guise of sports events.

According to a press release from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, Beijing police dismantled three online gambling rings on June 26, arresting 21 suspects involved in operating casinos and seizing electronic devices, ledgers, bank cards, and other gambling-related items.

In Chengdu, Sichuan Province, police arrested two suspects on June 27 involved in a gang that facilitated betting amounting to over 400,000 yuan ($54,994), as reported by the Qingbaijiang police on Tuesday.

One suspect, surnamed Liu, registered as an agent on an offshore “football betting” website and recruited another suspect, surnamed Song, along with others, to invite friends to join a WeChat group. They shared betting odds in the group and collected money from gamblers betting on Euro 2024 matches.

Of the two suspects, one faced criminal coercive measures, while the other received administrative penalties. Liu was identified as an online fugitive, and further investigation is ongoing.

Media reports on Tuesday highlighted a case in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, where a man encountered a “betting advertisement” on WeChat Moments offering discounts during Euro 2024. He contacted the advertiser, downloaded the app, and placed a 10,000 yuan bet. When he tried to withdraw his winnings, he discovered he couldn’t and lost contact with the advertiser.

Fraudsters often create fake betting site links that closely resemble the official Euro 2024 website, claiming to be officially designated betting sites to gain trust, according to a Shanghai government update on Tuesday. Scammers manipulate the system to allow initial small wins, but once larger bets are placed, the site shuts down, preventing withdrawals.

Some fraudsters send text messages pretending to be from the official Euro 2024 website, claiming the recipient has won a prize. They then ask for money transfers under the pretense of taxes or fees or implant viruses to steal personal information.

Scammers may also send messages offering “100 percent accurate game predictions,” charging high fees for these predictions or betting assistance. Once the fees are paid, the scammers block the individuals. Additionally, they create fake Euro 2024 websites to sell counterfeit commemorative items and block buyers after receiving payments.

Beijing police advise the public to be cautious about online gambling, watch games rationally, resist temptations, avoid participating in illegal activities, and protect personal privacy.