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World Cup 2018 Exposes Online Bitcoin Gambling Problems

World Cup Stage Brings Out Illegal Betters

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The World Cup has been going strong for over a week now, and anything less than exciting has not been a problem. The matches have been fun to watch and billions of people around the world are tuning in. Yet, millions more are also spending money online gambling, placing prop bets, and with bitcoin, the scene has been uncontrollable in some countries.

Recently, Hong Kong police caught people gambling illegally on the World Cup using online portals including some instant messaging applications. Resources added that these were pre-planned activities, showing a string of potential history of illegal gambling with bitcoin.

Alfredo Lim is the president of PAGCOR, the Philippine gaming regulator. His bureau has been working directly with other governement officials to help combat illegal online gambling.

“We lose millions from unlawful gambling,” Lim said.

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Even in South Korea – where betting is legal under registered bodies – illegal gambling on average dwarfs the legal market. Such is the case with the recent arrest of Coin One CEO Chae Myung-Hoon and his companies illegal margin trading revenues. Asian Market Leader China also forces itself upon all forms of gambling, including online betting.

The Jockey Club estimates Hong Kong’s illegal betting turnover this year, including the World Cup, will be at least $68 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in Singapore and $79 billion in South Korea annually. As you can see much profit is being made in the Asian market.

Hong Kong earns around 5 percent of its budget from taxing legal gambling and views illegal betting as lost potential revenue. The Jockey Club put the potential loss at about HK$13 billion ($1.7 billion) this year.

How To Illegally Gamble with Bitcoin

According to Yahoo news, almost $10 million was recovered in illegal gambling bets. However, there is so much more out there that is untapped and hidden. Many online gambling platforms exist and there is always access. Even Bitcoin gambling is the big trend now in the form of bitcoin casinos. And many gamblers, especially in Asia where bitcoin and cryptocurrency is flooded, find online gambling very attractive. Many casinos are running only on bitcoin gambling too. They are offering various sports all related to bitcoin gambling. With promotions and other bonuses, it is hard to look away. You don’t have to pay any instant cash either and you typically have a wallet reserved on the casino site itself.

Yet, many illegal gambling options exist off these platforms. Messenging services are highly unregulated and becoming the hotspot for all of this illegal barter, and has become the prime suspect of the World Cup betting in Asia. WeChat and Whataspp both offer encrypted messaging options and chatrooms. Police ended up confiscating hundreds of devices in their raid in Hong Kong, and these will all be carefully examined in order to try and piece together all aspects of the ring that is broken up.

illegal gambling devices hong kong

For anyone who may have made a bet, their only hope at anonymity is within the context of all texting, so any bet made is still guaranteed to be off the books. Furthermore, add the anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero or even Litecoin and transactions between bookies and gamblers is well hidden. Some gambling options are legal, but it is easier to find the illegal ones.

Illegal gambling is popular mainly in those countries where online gambling or cryptocurrency gambling is already illegal and where people have high knowledge and love for football, so they have to adopt some illegal means.

The hot news is that, any gambling that is legal, is estimated to be 3x greater than it was four years ago in Brazil. Lots of money to be made on a tournament that is suited more for a European, African and Asian audience. Asia is responsible for almost 80% of the illegal bets taking place because the games take place at normal business hours.

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What Solutions Exist?

As a solution to this unlawful act, a team of Hong Kong police has been made to check and balance the alarming situation of illegal crypto currency gambling during the World Cup. This specific bust mentioned above, will only build a case for more funding to shut down other illegal betting rings in the region. Singapore, South Korea, and even India are dedicated to striking a hard stance on illegal gambling.

The only solution is strength. With many laws going after bitcoin to destroy its image, the odds of illegal trading will only increase. Even in German recently, some German districts refused to implement bitcoin gambling laws, discrediting it.

But breaking the law also is not necessarily a deterrent when the payouts of illegal gambling are so sweet. According to the Hong Kong gambling law ordinance, for instance, any person involved in illegal gambling will be sent to jail for at least seven years and will be heavily fined. Minimum sentences include $30,000 fines and 9 months in jail. Yet, with access at their finger tips, and mobile messenging applications to do business, the limits are endless, as long as you do not get caught.

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