As the World Cup finals near many are eagerly anticipating the game between Croatia and France but in China, the police are playing their own game of cat and mouse with online crypto gambling dens. Guangdong police have cracked down on an online gambling platform hosting over RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion) worth of cryptocurrency bets, the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department announced today (in Chinese).

The gambling platform promised that all bets support and only accept Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin, the announcement states. Different from other gambling sites, its profitability model set up a multi-tier pyramid-scheme that encourages staff (or “agents” as they call them internally) to bring in members which can increase commission and membership fee gains, and to acquire more cryptocurrency to hedge the platform’s loss risks by leveraging coin prices and other crypto-financial features.

In 8 months since the launch, the gambling business attracted more than 8,000 agents and over 330,000 gambling members. With 611 cryptocurrency wallets in hand, the platform operated worldwide and offered cash-out channels for Chinese users to balance their account in RMB.

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Runhua Zhao

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com