Net gambling gang busted on mainland with 17 arrested

Police in central China’s Hunan Province busted an online gambling gang and captured 17 suspects, with the amount of money involved exceeding 100 million yuan (MOP120.5 million).

A special investigation team launched raids and caught the suspects in Hunan and neighboring Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces, as well as Zhejiang Province in the east.

The suspects had called in gamblers via social network chat groups and organized them to play in virtual poker gaming rooms since May 2017. The stakes involved in a single hand were between 2,000 yuan and 5,000 yuan, with 5 percent of the biggest winnings at the table withdrawn by the gang.

So far, one of the suspects is on bail pending trial, and the other 16 suspects are under criminal detention for allegedly committing casino crimes, said the public security bureau of Xinning County in Hunan. The case is under further investigation.

The Macau Special Administrative Region is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, although illegal betting is reportedly very common on the mainland. DB/Xinhua

Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort construction contract awarded

Melco International Development, the Hong Kong-based owner of the Integrated Casino Resort Cyprus (ICR), said it has awarded the construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean to Avax-Terna JV, a partly Cypriot-owned construction company.

A statement by ICR said that construction is set to begin this month and is scheduled to be completed within 2021. The investment for the creation of the resort totals 550 million euros (MOP5 billion).

City of Dreams Mediterranean, reportedly the region’s and Europe’s largest Integrated Casino Resort, will be located in western Limassol.

The statement said the building will be adapted to the natural environment – a reply to criticism by environmental organizations that no environmental survey had been carried out prior to the issuing of the building permit.

Environmentalists said the bright lights of the casino will disorient migratory birds using a nearby wetland as their winter habitat.

City of Dreams Mediterranean will be featuring a 16-storey hotel tower with 500 guest rooms including multi-bay suites with garden balconies, an exposition center, an extensive area with four large outdoor pools.

According to ICR, the resort will offer a wide range of attractions and entertainment options beyond gaming. The project is expected to attract an additional 300,000 tourists per year to Cyprus.

The statement said the casino will create an estimated 4,000 local job opportunities during the construction phase and approximately 2,400 permanent jobs once it is fully operational. DB/Xinhua

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