Vietnam busts ‘biggest ever’ online gambling ring (again)

Vietnam’s authorities have busted an unauthorized online gambling ring they claim handled bets worth nearly $3b before the whip came down.

On Thursday, Vietnamese media reported that police in Hanoi had arrested 16 individuals accused of running an illegal online casino that had been in operation since 2018. Police, cooperating with the Ministry of Public Security’s high-tech crime unit, named the alleged ringleader as a 37-year-old named Truong Ngoc Tu.

The ring reportedly instructed what the police claimed was its ‘millions’ of customers to download a gambling app or sign up directly with their ‘No Hu’ (‘Break the Jar’) website, while a network of 24 ‘Level 1’ agents and hundreds of ‘Level 2’ agents were responsible for issuing ‘points’ cards in exchange for cash.

These points acted as online credits that allowed players to access the app/site’s casino games. Winnings would be paid in cash via the agents. The agents, who received 2% commission on each deposit they arranged, also allowed gamblers to put up non-cash assets such as motorcycles as collateral against online credits.