This is one of the strangest stories we've ever covered. A gang in Hong Kong was using outdated arcade machines to run an illegal gambling ring bringing in $1.8 million.
The gang members bought a bunch of fishing simulator arcade games. Yes, you read that right, fishing simulators. They then gave gamblers cards that would record how many fish they were able to catch. Those translated into points that betters could exchange for cash.
Free drinks and free food were provided to the gamblers while they played the fishing game. There was also a jackpot offered for catching certain types of fish. This apparently was to keep people coming back. We guess you'd need something to entice people to play fishing simulators.
A central command location in Mong Kok would aggregate all of the casino winnings from the various gambling facilities each night. A police source said: “To avoid detection, the money was transferred into their bank accounts on the mainland via money changers.”
According to the police, the majority of the gamblers were involved in the underworld, including triad members and drug traffickers. The police estimated that each of the underground gambling dens was generating a profit of $12,900 each night.
That's a lot of money to invest in a fishing simulator. The ringleaders are facing charges relating to money laundering and operating an illegal gambling operation. There is a max prison sentence of 14 years for money laundering in Hong Kong.
That's a lot of time. Can you imagine going to prison and being asked “what are you in for?” and having to answer “running a fishing simulator.”
It all goes to show the levels people will go to in order to gamble. Our advice is to stick to the regulated online casinos in your area. If the idea of going into a back room and playing a fishing simulator sounds interesting to you, perhaps you should make sure you aren't starting down the road of problem gambling. Because honestly, that's the only reason we can think of for betting on this kind of thing.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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