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Crypto Gambler Busted for Betting on Taiwanese Election

A Polymarket gambler in Taiwan is facing legal consequences for wagering on the outcome of the presidential election earlier this year.

The individual, named Chen, used the Polymarket gambling website to bet 472.17 USDC on Ke Wenzhe’s victory in the presidential race and another 60.19 USDC on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) ability to win more legislative seats.

After an investigation, Taiwanese authorities accused Chen of violating election laws but offered him a deferred prosecution, citing his guilty admission. The deferred prosecution details that between December 12 and 17 of the previous year, Chen accessed Polymarket through his mobile phone and placed his bets.

His actions violated an act that specifically bans internet gambling on election outcomes. Additionally, his bets fell under the scrutiny of the “Public Servants Recall Act,” which criminalizes gambling on election results involving central public officials.

Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, prosecutors considered Chen’s lack of criminal records and his cooperative demeanor during the investigation. As a result, Chen was granted deferred prosecution for one year, provided he paid a fine of 30,000 yuan to the public treasury.

Deferred prosecution is kind of a second-chance for first-time offenders like Chen to avoid immediate sentencing on the condition of admitting their wrongdoing.

In 2019, US citizen Eric Behnke, who operated an online casino called “Seals with Clubs,” was arrested and charged with operating an illegal gambling business and money laundering. The site allowed users to gamble with Bitcoin and was one of the first of its kind to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

With the rise in digital assets, the online gambling scene has introduced new complexities and risks such as anonymity and ease of transactions. The cases of Chen and Behnke highlight the legal perils of crypto gambling.

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