Gamblers from Mainland China are known to place heavy bests usually in Macau, the biggest gambling hub in the world that once made fifty percent of its combined gaming revenue from VIP gamblers. However, the collapse of Macau’s casino industry due to the anti-corruption crackdown launched by Beijing has scared away the VIP segment from Macau’s casinos who now prefer to go to neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, South Korea and Vietnam.
A recent sting in Beijing revealed that the anti-corruption crackdown on the gambling industry has not deterred underground gambling dens from opening in the capital. Local media reported that authorities busted a high stakes underground casino that operated in West Beijing out of an expensive apartment.
The underground casino offered high stake poker games where players lost millions of dollars and would make all kinds of bets including putting real estate on the line. Gambling is currently illegal in China and the authorities have issued a severe warning to its citizens to refrain from all forms of gambling.
Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of Mediarex Sports, the parent company of the Global Poker Index and the Global Poker League has stated that the next poker boom will be in Asia and the Chinese market will be at the center of it. The growing popularity of poker has resulted in an increase of underground poker clubs in Mainland China.
The raid on the underground poker club was carried out by a local news reporter who got a lead to the club after one of the players leaked information due to the fact that he had lost millions at the club in a span of just 60 days. The player alleged that the club engaged in malpractices such as getting its staff to pose as players in order to increase the stakes at the table.
The club was located on the 23rd floor of a posh apartment and had three security clearances before players were allowed at the table. House rules dictated that players must be willing to make their bests before the cards can be dealt. The club deliberately hosted just two games per day in order to force players to bet as much money as possible and have high stake games. The underground club also tied up with loan sharks who were present to loan players more money when they found themselves short.
The club shifted on a frequent basis in order to avoid detection by the authorities. The sting resulted in the arrest of the club owners.