Euro 2016 is going down a hit in China but not everyone's love of the game is above board. As Graham Mackay reports, millions of dollars are changing hands from illegal gambling on the tournament. But not everyone's love of the game is above board.
Millions of dollars are changing hands from illegal gambling on the tournament in a country where almost all betting is illegal.
"It's very easy for a group to come together, say a dozen or so people - with one or two organizers to create a group chat, a closed group chat on something like WeChat, and then follow the game, post odds and decide who's gonna bet what. At the end of the match, people can then transfer the money using Alipay, using the payment system within WeChat, or using there red packets which are the online digital equivalent of traditional envelopes that would have been stuffed with cash".
Police have made multi-million dollar busts on mobile betting rings ... and hundreds of people have benn arrested. Now the companies behind the apps are also stepping in.
"We spoke to the guys at AliPay who say they've got a three tier system, which involves two sets of computer algorithms, and checks that will look out for dodgy behaviours - as well as a line of human staff who will go over things and look at what's really happening. Over at WeChat, they say - at Tencent - they say that they've already frozen or put limits on thousands of users accounts of suspected gambling behaviour."
One organizer telling Reuters he and his friend have set up a pot worth more than 750-thousands dollars.
Despite the efforts of police and tech companies, mobile betting is simply far too widespread to fully contain. One organizer telling Reuters he and his friend have set up a pot worth more than 750-thousands dollars. They plan to Hong Kong or Macau for the final - probably spending the whole week in a presidential suite.Enter your email address to subscribe to China-underground and receive notifications of new posts by email.