Underground cricket fighting 'casino' busted

Li Qian
The sport is usually associated with gambling and is still popular among the middle-aged group.
Li Qian

Three man accused of organizing cricket fighting in an "underground casino," fetching more than 1 million yuan (US$144,013), have been nabbed by police, two of whom have been arrested, prosecutors of Songjiang District said Monday.

Cricket fighting is a traditional game in China dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD). Two male crickets, well-fed and carefully raised, are put together, teased with sticks and enraged to attack each other to the death.

The sport is usually associated with gambling and is still popular among the middle-aged group.

The trio rented an empty venue in a farm in suburban Songjiang and opened an "underground cricket-fighting casino" in mid-October, prosecutors said.

About 50 to 80 gamblers were bussed in each fight night, and one gambler was asked to bet at least 3,000 yuan for one fight. The trio took 5 percent of the winnings, prosecutors alleged.

Within a week, the casino has attracted more than 300 gamblers and gambling money exceeded 1 million yuan, prosecutors said.


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