Bloomberg Businessweek

The Gambling Addiction That’s Upset Beijing

Chinese bettors are fueling a $24 billion digital gaming boom in Asia. The Communist Party is hard-pressed to stop it

It’s 6:30 on a Monday morning in China, and the Guangdong Club online gambling platform is humming as a stream of wagers placed in Chinese yuan flows through the portal. The club, which lists its place of registration as Costa Rica, hosts operators offering hundreds of sessions for such popular games as baccarat and blackjack, lotteries, and sports betting—many of them in Chinese. A single baccarat table can draw betting volumes touching 75,000 yuan ($10,500) in a 30-second game.

This is gambling with a digital twist, and it

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