No illegal FIFA betting cases in Macau so far

The Macau Judiciary Police (PJ) says it has not recorded any illegal sports betting cases since the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The same could not be said for other Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, which have cracked down on a number of illegal operations over the last few weeks.

“Every time the World Cup is held we carry out inspection and promotion for preventing and tackling illegal gambling. Under the coordination of the Unitary Police, we are carrying out together with the Public Security Police inspection and promotion which will continue to be carried out until the World Cup ends,” the Judiciary Police told local media Macau News Agency (MNA) this week.

In Macau, betting on football is only allowed through Macao SLOT Co. Ltd, which has an exclusive betting license for the city covering instant lottery, football and basketball.

Last week, Vietnam police busted an online betting ring thought to have been worth around $26 million. The four were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City and admitted to operating transactions through a website hosted in the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong police took down a $9.9 million gambling ring, arresting 42 men and three women in an operation codenamed “Blazespike.”

On Monday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to Cambodians to avoid betting on football matches, noting potential negative effects, according to a report from Phnom Pen Post.

“Don’t bet on [the 2018 World Cup]. In other countries, I know that people have committed suicide by jumping from buildings because they lost too much money.”

However, Hun Sen also acknowledged that he occasionally gambled on football games for fun, without money changing hands, claiming he was doing well.

“Don’t, don’t become indebted because of gambling on football. Actually, I have bet, but it’s not betting with money. So far I have won 12 matches,” he said.

Observers however believe the Prime Minister’s warning will fall on deaf ears.

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