Football video game a $41 million gambling ring: Hanoi police

By Pham Du   February 13, 2020 | 07:55 am GMT+7
Football video game a $41 million gambling ring: Hanoi police
Electronic devices are seized by police of Hanoi's Cau Giay District as they bust an online gambling ring. Photo by VnExpress/Van Hoan.

Hanoi police have busted a gambling ring masquerading as a football video game and placed 56 people under investigation.

Mastermind Phi Van Huan, 39, and 55 accomplices ran an online gambling website fronting as a football video game, Cau Giay District police said Tuesday.

Huan created a company called EGOLD Vietnam as cover for the group's operations, while his accomplices converted players’ money into a digital currency called GOLD used for betting at the rate of VND100,000 for 120,000 GOLD and vice versa.

Players created accounts on the website, bought the GOLD and bet on the games’ outcomes. Winners got to double their GOLD amount, but Huan’s group would take around 1-1.5 percent of that amount as profit.

There were around 350,000 accounts created on the website, said the police. The total value of transactions on the website from July to September last year was around VND960 billion ($41.18 million), they added.

Huan’s group, meanwhile, made illegal profits of more than VND4.7 billion from the website. The total value of GOLD sold from July to September last year was around VND200 billion, the police said.

Vietnam legalized sports betting in 2017 and allowed, on a trial basis, people aged over 21 with a monthly income of at least VND10 million ($432) to gamble in a casino on the southern island of Phu Quoc. All other forms of gambling remain illegal.

 
 
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