Cryptocurrencies have been gradually seeping into the global gambling market, and in China, it appears as though a lot of these alt-assets are being for sports betting. As per recent reports, Chinese police officials have cracked down on an illegal cryptocurrency gambling scheme this week, thereby exposing the rise of crypto within China’s widespread underground betting market.
Illicit Cryptocurrency Gambling in China
Given China’s harsh stance on cryptocurrencies, it did not take long for Chinese authorities to figure out what was going on exactly. The unnamed gambling platform was offering cryptocurrency support by exploiting regulatory loopholes. More specifically, the site owners were able to secure profits by hiding their revenue generated through the supported cryptocurrencies. Official sources claim the platform processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in just eight months.
As one would expect, six individuals linked to this gambling platform have been arrested. Officials also confiscated $1.5m worth of cryptocurrency and $750,000 worth of renminbi deposits from various bank accounts. No customers have been affected by these developments, which seems to indicate only profits were confiscated by police officials.
For the time being, it remains unclear as to what exactly will happen to these six individuals, but it is likely that they will all face a jail sentence along with a hefty fine.
Chinese regulators have made it clear they see no real merit in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is also why the PBoC banned CNY-based trading over a year ago.
Developments like these will only put more negative focus on Bitcoin and similar currencies, which is the last thing the industry needs right now. It seems unlikely regulators will look favorably upon Bitcoin as long as incidents like these continue to take place.
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