A Hong Kong man, found guilty of running a number of gambling Websites, was sentenced to eight years and fined 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The case, believed to be the country's biggest online gambling case, involved about 8.68 billion yuan in wagered money and more than 278 million yuan in illegal profits, a source of the Yunnan High People's Court said on Wednesday.
Tam Chi-wai, a Hong Kong resident, set up a gambling house in Myanmar in 1999 and then started to develop an online betting network.
He and this accomplices established several gambling Websites and placed the computer servers in Guangzhou and Dongguan in the southern Guangdong Province.
One of the Websites attracted 5,198 registered users from August 2006 to March 2007.
More than 3,000 people used to work for the Tam's gambling network. Some employees managed Websites while others took charge of maintaining the betting network. Other members held hundreds of different bank accounts to hide illicit earnings.
In June, the Intermediate People's Court in Kunming, the provincial capital, gave Tam an eight year jail term anda 20 million yuan fine, but he appealed the sentence. The provincial high court upheld the initial sentence.
According to China's law, it is illegal to set up a gambling party or gambling house.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2008)