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Legal & Regulatory

13 people indicted in Taiwan over illegal gambling

A total of 13 people have been arrested for running an illicit online gambling business in Taiwan.

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The Shilin District Prosecutors Office indicted two Japanese nationals, identified as Kinoshita and Matsumura, for developing online gambling apps and profiting from online betting in Taiwan. While 11 Taiwanese nationals who were working for the pair also faced charges. 

The two Japanese nationals created three companies: Ganapati Taiwan Co., Ltd. and Ganapati PLC, as well as a technology company. The companies were registered in Taipei and offered gambling services.

The companies created 36 such apps and involved different gambling games that were linked to 28 websites based in Thailand, Vietnam, China and various European countries, according to Focus Taiwan. Ganapati Taiwan reportedly claimed 6-10% commission from each bet that was placed via their services. 

The illegal gambling service was operational since the start of last year, 1 January 2019, and was running until 6 July 6 2020. Over the course of a year, a total of TWD1.4bn ($48.9m) was wagered. 

Kinoshita and Matsumura argued that their app blocked the players whose IP was based in Taiwan, South Korea or Japan, but the court still deemed the service to have breached Taiwanese law. Only the national lottery is considered to be a legal form of gambling in Taiwan, and over the years the country has seen an increase in illegal betting sites. 

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