Internet bets

Jun 27, 2006 4:39 AM

Just like Washington, D.C., where politicians are struggling to meet the Internet betting challenge, Asian cities such as Macau, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur are battling against illegal gambling on the Internet.

In Asia, and around the world, the current interest is the World Cup soccer matches.

Last week, illegal bookmakers were arrested in Macau, where police confiscated more than $12 million, and Hong Kong, with officials grabbing more than $6 million. But, the bigger problem was the Internet.

"It’s more sophisticated now compared with the 2002 World Cup or even Euro 2004," laughed Malaysian gambler Marcus Chen in describing the attraction to online bookies.

He described the many "propositions" the bookies now offer, similar to the "props" offered by American betting outlets during the football season.

As for police measures to curb the gambling, he said, it was a joke.

"Everyone has a mobile phone. We can get onto the Internet from our phone at the coffee shop. How can they stop us?" he asked.