Vietnam, Thailand police play illegal gambling whack-a-mole

Authorities in Vietnam have broken up an illegal online gambling ring that used virtual credits for wagering purposes.

On Wednesday, Vietnamese media reported that police in the northern province of Bắc Ninh had arrested nine individuals, including a 31-year-old ringleader, for their connections to a gambling ring that allowed arcade visitors to access online gambling sites via computer terminals. Raids on six arcades found 18 individuals involved in this type of gambling.

Police say gamblers were required to exchange VND1m (US$44) for VND1.1m worth of virtual credits. Assuming gamblers had money left over after their game play, these credits could be converted back into real cash at a rate of VND1m in credits for VND800k ($35) in real money.

Given those unfavorable exchange rates, it comes as some surprise that police claimed the ring had exchanged VND152b ($6.7m) worth of currency since January. (Have these gamblers never heard of dealing directly with internationally licensed gambling sites?)

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