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Students suspended for betting on NBA games

THIRTY high school students in south China's Guangdong Province have been suspended after they were suspected of gambling on NBA games.

The 10th and 11th grade students at Donghua Senior High School in Dongguan City were suspended at the start of the week, said Wang Xuhui, deputy head of the municipal education bureau.

"Students who gambled, stole or took drugs should be expelled," said Jiang Tao, head of the school ideological and political education department. "Those suspected of gambling were to be suspended pending an investigation."

One of the students surnamed Chen said he didn't think that gambling on games "would have such serious consequences."

"We all like basketball," he said. "We watch NBA games together and bet with our cellphones."

Another student explained further on condition of anonymity. "We use our cellphones to access the Internet and bet on a Website," he said. "The agent gives you the money if you win and asks for money each week if you lose."

The minimum bet was 50 yuan (US$7.30), he said.

Basketball is popular in Dongguan, which has more than 26,000 basketball courts. New Jersey Nets star Yi Jianlian once played for the city's Hongyuan Basketball Club.

Parents said it would be hard to find their children new schools because the semester has just begun.

"How come the school is so harsh? It did not offer any chance for the kids to correct their mistakes," said a father surnamed Mo at the school gate on Wednesday morning.

"He has not been in a good mood in the past two days. Sometimes he cries silently. I am worried he will take things too hard or even try to commit suicide."


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