Posted on: November 24, 2021, 10:45h.
Last updated on: November 24, 2021, 12:20h.
An illegal website with ties to the Philippines that was targeting South Korean gamblers has been busted by authorities. The sports betting activity was reportedly using a hotel-casino as its base of operations, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
Some 130 people were taken into custody in South Korea as part of an alleged criminal ring tied to the site.
However, only nine people were arrested, including one individual who reportedly ran the operations.
The website is now dismantled, however, before shutting down the operation had grown quite large, according to Yonhap News Agency. The outfit had reportedly taken over $1.09 billion in wagers in the past 2 and a half years.
The investigation was overseen by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency through its international crime investigation unit. The investigation began in September 2019 after police were tipped off to a suspicious activity.
Two years later, police moved in to shut down the operations. Police uncovered was a string of activities that included the broadcasting of live sports games from a venue in the Philippines. This was tied to a sports betting portal run through an unnamed website, with the illegal sportsbook functioning from at least July 2018, if not earlier.
The investigation ultimately linked 150 people. The twenty not taken into custody are now wanted suspects that have “red notices” flagged to their identification. A red notice goes out to all linked law enforcement agencies around the world, notifying them that the individual is wanted for questioning or apprehension.
When the bust was made, police reportedly confiscated around $673,200 (KRW800 million), which had been received through the criminal enterprise. The funds were sent using cryptocurrency.
This latest collapse of an illegal gambling operation in South Korea follows a line of recent busts.
In September, Hong Kong police detained more than 800 suspects tied to EURO 2020 wagers over the summer. Among those arrested was the alleged kingpin of a triad-controlled sports betting syndicate.
Last June, law enforcement arrested 17 after raids on two illegal sportsbooks in Busan– South Korea’s second most popular city. That resulted in around $1.7 million in cash, three apartments, and two houses being seized.
South Korea has two official and legal sportsbooks, Sports Toto and Sports Proto. They aren’t as robust as what bettors can find with some of the online alternatives, and they’re both controlled by South Korea’s national lottery.
Sports Toto is a pari-mutuel platform meaning the bets are pooled and then split equally between winners.
Sports Proto is closer to the standard sports betting website that all bettors around the globe would expect to find. Fixed odds are used, and bettors accept the odds displayed at the time they place a wager. There are a few limitations to this platform, though. First, only basketball and baseball are found. Second, payouts are usually lower than those offered by sites that compete in open markets.
Online betting through offshore sites has become highly popular because of the limitations.
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Sony to keep making PlayStation 4 as PS5 output hits snag – New York Post
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Sony’s plans to mass produce its new PlayStation 5 gaming console have been put on hold because of disruptions in the global supply chain — forcing the company to keep cranking out its older PS4 systems.
The Japanese tech giant had initially planned to phase out manufacturing of PS4 at the end of last year and move to a full transition to its newer consoles, according to Bloomberg. But now it is pivoting to produce as many as 1 million of the old models in 2022.
After introducing the PS5 in November 2020, supply has been scarce due to shortages in advanced chips and other commodities needed to mass produce the hardware.
This past November, Sony reduced its PS5 production outlook. Initially, it aimed to make more than 16 million units in the year ending in March, but that number was trimmed to 14.8 million.
The older PS4 is cheaper to make and uses less advanced chips and software than its successor. Released in 2013, the PS4 has sold more than 116 million units and remains popular among gamers.
The PS5, which offers more sophisticated graphics and faster loading times than the PS4, was also met with great fanfare. As of September 2021, it has sold 13.3 million total units — surpassing the 7.6 million units that the PS4 sold in its first year of availability nearly a decade ago.
Sony told assembly partners late last year that it is pivoting to manufacture more PS4 consoles this year, though a company spokesperson denied that it had planned to discontinue production altogether.
“It is one of the best-selling consoles ever and there is always crossover between generations,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg.
This past fall, Sony reported a 27% increase in sales in its gaming division for the three-month fiscal quarter that ended on Sept. 30. The firm credited the popularity of the PS5.
In total, the Japanese conglomerate’s gaming division recorded $5.7 billion in sales during the three month period starting in July. Operating income fell 21% to $727 million while the company generated $10.8 billion in revenue.
Sony isn’t the only gaming company that is relying on its older technologies to keep profits flowing during the supply chain crunch.
Last year, Nvidia, the US firm that makes processing units for gaming consoles, revived its previous generation of GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards due to the shortage in semiconductors.
While the company never officially discontinued production of the card, it was not listed for sale as recently as November 2020.
The card was first introduced in 2016, but was gradually phased out in favor of the newer 16-series cards, according to PC Gamer.
Market observers say that the supply chain crisis and chip shortages will likely last through this year.
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