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Police raid underground casino

2013-09-09 10:55 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Minhang district police have arrested more than 60 gamblers and employees after raiding an underground casino that was taking at least 1 million yuan ($163,385) in bets each day.

Police found out about the illegal casino after receiving a tip from Shanghai Television Station, which was working on an exposé about the establishment, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said over the weekend.

The casino had been operating in secret out of a commercial building at the intersection of Gumei and Gulong roads in Minhang district for several months, according to the exposé, which aired Saturday.

A Shanghai TV news reporter conducted an undercover investigation of the casino for the report. On the first floor, there was sparsely populated arcade with more than a dozen video gambling machines, according to the report. The second floor, however, was packed with cash-clenching gamblers betting on table games such as baccarat.

A casino employee told the undercover reporter that the casino handled at least 1 million yuan in bets each day, according to the report. It accepted bank cards as well as cash.

Police officers raided the casino Thursday evening and uncovered a VIP room on the third floor that was only accessible by a secret stairwell, police said. The stairwell was behind a keypad-locked door at the end of a passage hidden by a mirrored wall.

Gamblers in the VIP room played at 1,000-yuan minimum bet tables. There was no upper limit on the betting, police said.

When the officers discovered the VIP room, they found it was locked from the inside. The gamblers inside smashed open the wall to the adjacent restaurant to try to escape, but officers were there waiting.

Police confiscated more than 80,000 yuan from the casino.

The casino's operator had been serious about its security, police said. It had surveillance cameras both inside and outside of the building. Its security guards carried walkie-talkies while they kept an eye out for police.

All of its windows had been secured with bars and locks, according to the news report.

The casino had leased the space through several layers of middlemen to hide the fact that a gambling establishment was operating there, said Jin Wei, deputy head of the Gumei police station.

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