An illegal World Cup betting ring operating throughout hotel rooms in the Chinese gambling city of Macau was busted over two days of raids on Thursday and Friday with some 26 people taken into custody and nearly $650 million in illegal activity coming to a halt, according to the BBC and the South China Morning Post.
According to the reports, those involved had been taking bets from the hotel rooms over the phone and online; one gambler in particular had placed a single bet of $5 million. Among the items recovered by authorities over the two days of raids were betting slips, details of gambling accounts, 17 computers, at least 10 mobile phones and approximately $258,000 in cash found inside the three hotel rooms. Those arrested range in age from 22 to 50 years old.
Since the World Cup kicked off last week, Hong Kong police have arrested 39 individuals suspected of illegal gambling activity and have subsequently seized betting slips worth nearly $11 million leading up to this most recent bust in Macau.