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Yiwu Cracks Down on Online Gambling Scheme

Forty-seven people connected to an online gambling scheme were arrested on Friday.

Twenty others are on the run, suspected in connection with a huge transnational online gambling case in Yiwu, a city in the east China province of Zhejiang.

The players played Baccarat online, using Internet connections and changeable codes to monitor and bet on live games at a location in Myanmar.

Baccarat is a simple and popular casino card game.

While actual players move cards and chips in Myanmar, gamblers in Yiwu, some 100 kilometers southwest of Hangzhou, the provincial capital, could view and participate in the games.

Players of the online casino needed only to type an Internet address and input a code. They could then see the live action through Internet video.

Using the video feed, the players could decide which hand to bet on. Wages were set at no less than 5,000 yuan (US$600) but could hit 200,000 yuan (US$24,000), police said.

Players would then call the organizers, who would have an agent place the bet on the table. The result could be confirmed online and money was transferred between bank accounts.

(China Daily July 13, 2004)

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