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November 7, 2011

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Police raid casino hidden in woodland

A SECRET casino hidden in woodland, where gamblers bet hundreds of thousands of yuan among the foliage, has been shut down by police in Baoshan District.

Officers said 71 people were detained in the raid in a wood near a holiday resort in Zhangshu Village, Luodian Town.

The gambling operation was well-organized, with lookouts and the makeshift casino moved to new, well-concealed locations between games.

It was moved between six spots in the woodland to the south of Yueluo Road and Panjing Road, police said.

Staff would cut down trees to make space for the "casino shed" and connect up an electricity supply, said an officer surnamed Zhuang.

"Locating the casino in the woods made it easy for them to flee," Zhuang explained.

"The first game was usually held from 5pm to 8pm. Then they would have dinner, move the location and start the second game at around 9pm.

"This game could continue until 4 or 5am," said Zhuang.

Four suspects headed efforts to attract customers, and gamblers were provided with a shuttle service and free dinner, Zhuang said.

"Once the first game was over, the casino would drive the gamblers to a restaurant for dinner and then back for the second game."

The pot for each game could reach 600,000 yuan (US$94,587) and out-of -luck gamblers could borrow from the casino, with interest calculated on a daily basis, police said.

Police raided the casino on October 18 and caught at the scene all 71 people who were detained. Some 37 of those have gambling records.

Gambling is outlawed on the Chinese mainland.


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