The FIFA World Cup 2014 which recently concluded in Brazil was estimated to be telecast to over 1 billion people all across the world. The world cup is not only one of the biggest sporting events in the world but also huge revenue for the gambling industry. Both legal and illegal betting websites thrived during the FIFA World Cup as bet’s came in from all across the world.
Professional poker player Paul Phua who is well known on the poker circuit was recently arrested in Las Vegas for running an “illegal gambling business” out of Caesars Palace. Phua was arrested along with 7 other accomplices and charged with 1 count of unlawful transmission of information with regards to wagering and 1 count of operating and controlling and illegal gambling business.
Phua was initially arrested in Macau for running an unauthorised sports book gambling business and taking part in illegal bets on the FIFA World Cup 2014. If Phua is convicted of both charges, then he could face up to 2 years in prison for unlawful transmission and another 5 years in prison for illegal gambling. Phua will also have to pay a total of $500,000 in fines for his crimes.
The Department of Justice released a complaint which read
Phua arrived in Las Vegas on 23rd June 2014 to continue with his associates their illegal gambling business at a local casino. During early June 2014, three villas were reserved at a local casino at the request of Wei Seng Phua or one of his associates. Between June 6 and June 11, 2014, Phua and two of his associates…checked into the villas. Phua and his associates allegedly requested that the casino install an unusually large amount of electronics equipment in the villas to support eight Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) lines, and WiFi access
Phua will have to remain in Las Vegas till the case has a final verdict. Phua is not only well known on the poker circuit but also extremely wealthy as reports estimate that he is worth between $300 to $400 million dollars. The casino in Las Vegas along with the authorities used sophisticated technology to carefully monitor Phua and his associates to document and make a case against them. The FIFA World Cup 2014 might have ended but for Phua it is only the beginning as the verdict could play a significant part in deciding the next few years of his life.