Chinese court jails online football bookie

The organizer of an illegal online football gambling site has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison by the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, China Daily reported. Gu Lianbao, 43, was also fined 30,000 yuan (US$3,700) as part of the sentence handed down on 20 September. According to court records, the bookie's website handled 600 million yuan (US$74 million), and is believed to have been the largest online betting operation in Beijing.

Police swooped last December after the Ministry of Public Security started to crack down on online betting. Gu was searching gambling websites at home in Beijing when police arrived. Seized at the scene were about 150,000 yuan (US$18,500) in cash, a bank deposit book with a balance of 210,000 yuan (US$25,900) and a bank card worth 60,000 yuan (US$7,400). Gu had acted as the banker for the website from June to December last year as an agent for a Taiwan-based gambling company.

See also: More game fixing allegations shock China (10 Sept 2005)