Two cases of illegal gambling syndicates in Asia highlight the amount of money being wagered on the 2014 World Cup.
Police in Macau broke up a ring that took in $645 Million during the opening matches. 22 people were arrested by police in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The syndicate was operating out of three hotel rooms in Macau where they took internet and phone bets from people around the world. One gambler allegedly placed a $5 Million bet with the syndicate.
In the same hotel, police broke up a different illegal gambling ring that took in up to $645,000 in bets in a single day during the World Cup.
Hong Kong police seized illegal betting slips that had around $10 Million in bets placed and arrested 39 people in the first two weeks of the tournament. Illegal sports betting in Hong Kong generates about $64.5 Billion each year in the territory.
Singapore security officials arrested 15 people in a illegal gambling ring that took in $640,000 in World Cup bets during the opening stages of the World Cup.
Over half of all illegal sports gambling takes place in Asia.
Source: Sophie Brown, “Macau busts $645 million World Cup betting ring,” CNN, June 23, 2014.