The allure of gambling rings has persisted for centuries, drawing people in with the excitement of illegal gambling. However, these establishments are often rife with shady activities beyond just placing bets. Gambling dens are created to evade gambling laws, either due to lack of oversight or strict regulations. This creates a catch-22 situation, driving people to seek out these illicit operations.
Profit is a major motivator for gambling dens, which often offer high-stakes games without regulated taxes. The lure of big winnings coupled with the thrill of breaking the law has fueled the rise of gambling rings around the world. However, many of these operations have ultimately been brought to a halt.
In Vietnam, the authorities dismantled an online gambling ring worth $2.6 billion in May 2020. The website, No Hu, operated both online and offline, with a network of “foot soldiers” providing credit to players and collecting owed money. Despite only being in operation for two years, the bust was the country’s largest-ever illegal gambling raid, resulting in the arrest of 16 individuals.
In Seoul, South Korea, a complex gambling ring operated between 2011 and 2017, evading law enforcement with careful management and frequent relocations. Police had to infiltrate the organization undercover, eventually uncovering a $5 million annual profit before finally shutting it down.
Not all gambling rings are as easily dismantled, as seen with Frank Rosenthal’s sports scams. His operations were famously difficult to bust, showcasing the intricate and elusive nature of some illegal gambling rings.
The rise and fall of these notorious gambling dens demonstrate the enduring appeal and challenges of combating illegal gambling. Despite law enforcement efforts, the allure of high-stakes games and untaxed profits continue to drive the existence of gambling rings around the world.