For Chinese, Online Gambling Adds More Thrill to World Cup

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NEW YORK—Chinese Americans in New York are actively participating in the 2010 World Cup through online gambling, which they believe makes the soccer matches more exciting to watch, reports China Press. According to the newspaper, sports gambling is illegal in United States, except in Las Vegas, but many Chinese Americans are placing bets via overseas websites, which are harder to track. Chen, a student, said many of his Chinese friends have placed online bets – up to a couple of hundred dollars -- on World Cup games. He said he was not a soccer fan before but had to get up to speed on the sport quickly after he started gambling, because he needed to evaluate the teams before placing bets. Zhang, who works as a travel agent, also agreed that gambling made the games more exciting to watch. Zhang said he liked to place bets on the teams least favored to win, because the rate of return would be higher in the event that the teams do win. He engages in online discussion groups to find out which teams have the best rate of return. According to an informal survey, there are about 2,300 gambling websites related to soccer globally, and there are more than 10 million people engaged in such gambling activities directly or indirectly during the World Cup.