Xu Chaojun Charged With Running Illegal Chinese Poker Ring

July 31st, 2017 | by Kaycee James

Xu Chaojun has become the latest high profile victim of China’s anti-gambling laws after he was arrested for running an illegal poker ring.

Xu Chaojun illegal poker ring.

Xu Chaojun believes the Chinese authorities are making him an example as they seek to charge him with running an illegal poker ring. (Image: qq.com)

The internet tycoon who has worked at some of China’s largest tech companies, including the social media platform Renren, appeared on TV on July 29 to explain the charges he’s now facing.

Following a police raid on a private home game back in June, Chaojun has been accused of running an illegal casino.

Gambling for Money is Illegal in China

Under Chinese law, gambling is legal on the mainland but only if money isn’t involved. The moment money exchanges hands, the players are in breach of the law. In this instance, Chaojun was the organizer of a private poker game where Chinese’s social elite wagered up to $440,000.

As the host of the game, Chaojun would take a rake and this is means he could technically be found guilty of running an illegal casino. For Xu Chaojun, however, the game wasn’t about money but skill.

During the interview, Chaojun explained that the players weren’t concerned with the high stakes (as they were all rich) but the challenge of actually playing poker.

Despite this, the authorities decided to shut down the game; a move Chaojun believes is designed to make a statement and send a message to anyone trying to play poker for money.

Unpredictable Reigns in China

This isn’t the first time the government has made a move against a poker game. Back in April 2015, the Chinese National Police force raided the APPT Nanjing Millions.

Despite getting the OK to host the event by local authorities, stormed the Jiangsu Wutaishan Sports Center on the third day of the event and closed it down.

This incident was a prime example of China’s fickle attitude towards gambling. Prior to the infamous event, the APPT and the WPT had both hosted successful live events in China. On this occasion, however, the authorities decided to flex their muscles and stop the event.

Chaojun has become something of a figure on the Chinese poker scene over the last few years, namely due to his involvement in the recent man vs. machine challenge. Joining five other poker players and businessmen from the region, Chaojun took on an artificial intelligence computer in an exhibition match.

The brother of Libratus, Lengpudashi put on a show and beat the team of humans in a match that stretched over five days. No money exchanged hands on that occasion, which is an example Chaojun may soon wish he’d have followed.


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