Win the game and get the bonus? Gambling trap under legal cloak

  □ Our reporter Luo Shasha □ Our correspondent Ding Jin

  In recent years, with the continuous development of the e-sports industry, some lawless elements have set their eyes on e-sports and surrounding derivative projects in order to gain high illegal interests. A 14-member criminal gang headed by Gong and Liu set up an e-sports company, developed an e-sports game App, and opened a casino in the name of "Bounty Tournament". In just three months, the gambling money involved was as high as 8.6 million yuan.

  On June 14th, 2023, the People’s Procuratorate of gusu district, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province filed a public prosecution, and the court sentenced 14 people, including Gong, Liu, Deng and Li, to prison terms ranging from five years and three months to one year and six months, and fined them ranging from 50,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan. Some of them were suspended. He was ordered to withdraw more than 1 million yuan of illegal income and confiscated more than 100 tools such as computers and mobile phones. At present, the judgment has come into effect.

  In August, 2021, Xiao Liu, a college student who lives in gusu district, Suzhou, got a short live video of "Bounty Tournament". According to the anchor, this game App called "Meet Me" contains all kinds of popular mobile games. If you win in the random pairing game, you can win the bonus, and you can withdraw it through the App.

  Not only can you play games, but you can also get money if you win? Xiao Liu, who was very excited, quickly downloaded, registered and logged in, and found that to participate in the "prize-winning battle", he had to recharge the diamond in the App as an "admission fee". Xiao Liu has recharged 100 diamonds and transferred to the entrance of a shooting mobile game that he often plays through the platform to participate in the battle. The so-called "bonus" is the sum of the "admission fees" of him and other players. Although he won 100 diamonds in the end, 30 diamonds were automatically taken away by the platform. Under the reminder of a friend, Xiao Liu realized that the platform was involved in gambling, so he immediately uninstalled the App and called 110.

  After receiving the report, the public security organ filed a case for investigation. The police found that Xiao Liu’s recharge funds flowed to an e-sports company in Chengdu, and a total of 14 suspects including the company’s head Gong, management Liu, App development and promotion and financial personnel were locked up. In September 2021, with the cooperation of the Chengdu police, the police arrested all the suspects and brought them to justice, and the "Mutual Help" App was immediately forced to stop.

  After investigation, Gong and his friend Liu partnered to open a network technology company, which faced losses due to poor operation. One day, when Gong accidentally saw an e-sports game advertisement of "winning the game and earning a bonus", he wanted to develop an App to explode the popularity of mobile games and use the "bonus" gimmick to attract traffic. The company only needed to sit and enjoy the draw.

  Later, Gong persuaded five people, including Liu, to use the state’s support policies for the e-sports industry to register and establish Encounter E-sports Co., Ltd. and obtain the e-sports business license. The business scope includes sports competition organization, animation game development, sports event planning and other e-sports related content. Gong is the actual controller of the company, and Liu and other five people are the shareholders of the company. After joint discussion, they instructed five technicians, including Li and Ma, to develop the "Mutual Help" App, which was officially launched in June 2021. The company’s employees, Deng Mou and Huang Mou, used the online platform to promote the "Bounty Tournament" as a gimmick to attract players to download the App. After registration, they recharged through WeChat and Alipay and bought diamonds as virtual coins. After the user pays the prescribed equivalent virtual currency, the platform randomly pairs into the game, and the winner wins all the rewards and cashes out through App. The company draws profits according to the proportion of shooting mobile games 30% and pushing tower mobile games 20%, and financial staff Xu is responsible for fund settlement. After verification, the App has been in operation for 3 months, and the registered users have reached 2.6 million, and the user’s recharge amount has exceeded 10 million yuan.

  In November 2021, six management personnel, including Gong Mou and Liu Mou, were arrested by the gusu district Procuratorate on suspicion of opening a casino, and eight technical, promotion and financial personnel, including Li Mou, Deng Mou and Xu Mou, were criminally compulsory on bail pending trial. It was found through trial that from June to September, 2021, 14 people, including Gong and Liu, organized players to participate in online gambling through App. The gambling money involved was as high as 8.6 million yuan, and the profit from it was more than 1 million yuan, which constituted the crime of opening a casino.

  "The company has a legal e-sports license, ‘ Meet each other ’ App is similar to JJ landlord, how can it be regarded as opening a casino? " In January 2022, the case was transferred for review and prosecution. Gong and Liu tried to cover up the facts of the crime and insisted that they were engaged in legal and compliant e-sports business.

  According to the review of the procuratorate, the "Mutual Encounter Help" App provides users with a recharge channel for converting cash into virtual currency and a withdrawal channel for converting virtual currency into money again. Users can bet virtual currency as a chip, and the companies involved are drawn from the amount bet by each game player. The resulting user recharge and withdrawal are drawn from the companies involved, which correspond to the "up and down" links of gambling respectively, and belong to online gambling activities.

  "In fact, as long as it meets ‘ Money goes in and money goes out, winning or losing is random ’ This gambling feature can constitute the crime of opening a casino, ‘ E-sports ’ Camouflage is just self-deception. " Undertaking the introduction of prosecutor Liu Ben. In fact, along with the bloody e-sports competition, there were criminals who developed the e-sports quiz App, which allowed players to recharge and bet, and the platform settled and cashed out. In essence, it opened an online casino under the banner of e-sports quiz, which once attracted many players to indulge in it. In contrast, the "mutual encounter" App uses "playing games and winning bounty" as a cover and puts on a "legal coat", which is more confusing and tempting. Young people who love e-sports games, especially students at school, have weak discrimination ability, and are easy to fall into this kind of well-disguised trap, breaking the law without knowing it, so we should take a warning and be vigilant.

  How can we stay away from this kind of online gambling trap? The procuratorate reminded that buying chips to bet, winning or losing determines the income and can be exchanged for cash. As long as these three characteristics are met, whether it is chess, mobile games or other forms, it is already suspected of gambling violations. The masses must improve their discriminating ability, put an end to luck, download and log in games through official platforms and formal channels, don’t trust online advertisements and private recommendations, and don’t click on links that come from unknown sources. Once illegal activities such as gambling are found, they should take the initiative to refuse and report them immediately. Never believe gimmicks such as "generous bonuses" and "one-second cash withdrawal", otherwise they may be bankrupt, heavily in debt, and may be investigated for legal responsibility.

Management rules for loosening the network car in many places: lowering the entry threshold for vehicles and drivers.

  Since September this year, many cities, including Quanzhou, Fujian and Lanzhou, Gansu, have been exposed to have loosened the network car-sharing policy.

  Recently, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province also held a legislative hearing on the Regulations of Hangzhou Municipality on the Administration of Passenger Taxi (Revised Draft). It is planned to bring the network car into the scope of passenger taxi management, and at the same time adjust the vehicle standards and driver access standards of the network car.

  Cheng Huiqiang, a researcher at the State Council Development Research Center, said in an interview with The Paper that the online car ride itself is one of the ways to deepen the reform of the taxi industry. The policy adjustment according to local conditions reflects the government’s open and scientific attitude towards emerging formats. Because there is still a time difference in the implementation of the network car policy in various places, the exploration of the first cities can provide reference for the subsequent cities to formulate local network car rules.

  In July 2016, the Interim Measures for the Administration of Online Booking Taxi Management Services was issued, which took effect on November 1 of the same year, and China took the lead in recognizing the legality of online car booking. Subsequently, many rules for the management of network car were issued, including many requirements for drivers’ household registration and operating vehicle standards.

  Detailed rules for the management of loosening the network car in some cities

  Since September this year, Quanzhou and Lanzhou have been exposed to the local version of the network car management rules. Hangzhou recently held a hearing on relevant policies.

  Judging from the changes in the rules of the above three cities, it mainly includes the following contents:

  1,Reduce the access standards for vehicle prices.

  Compared with the previous landing rules, Quanzhou, Lanzhou and Hangzhou have all set the lowest price standard for online car.

  Quanzhou originally required that the price of the online car should not be less than 150,000 yuan, which needs to be more than 50% higher than the mainstream taxi. It is now adjusted that the vehicle price shall not be less than 1.2 times the taxi price. Lanzhou City will adjust "the price of online car is more than 140,000" to 1.5 times that of mainstream taxis.

  According to the calculation of the media in the two places, thanks to this, the entry threshold for car prices in the two places has dropped by more than 30% to 50%.

  2. Lower the vehicle configuration standard.

  Previously, Quanzhou rules required that the network car must be equipped with a positioning device with driving record function and an emergency alarm device, and the Beidou satellite positioning system must be adopted. The new rules cancelled the designated system and only required the same technical conditions.

  Lanzhou is in the new regulations.The relevant standards of "the wheelbase of vehicles is 2700 mm", "the wheelbase of new energy vehicles is more than 2650 mm" and "providing wireless Internet access, mobile phone chargers, paper towels, umbrellas, etc. for passengers" have been deleted.

  The revised draft of Hangzhou simply cancels the original vehicle wheelbase and price standard, and treats the network car and taxi equally.

  3, lower the driver’s entry threshold.

  In the new regulations (drafts) of Lanzhou and Hangzhou, the city’s household registration or residence certificate will be obtained as the entry threshold for online car drivers.Deleted the time limit for obtaining the residence permit of this city for one year.

  4, reduce the difficulty of the exam.

  On September 8, the Ministry of Transport issued the Notice on Reforming the Work Related to the Qualification Examination for Taxi Drivers, and the number of questions in the question bank was reduced from 1,200 to 500, and the ratio of the number of questions in the question bank to the number of questions in the test paper did not exceed 10: 1.

  5, reduce administrative duplication of examination and approval.

  Originally, if the network car platform wants to settle in Quanzhou, it must submit an application to the Fujian transportation authorities, and the online service capability of the platform will be reviewed. Now it is adjusted to be verified by the registration place of the platform company to reduce duplicate certification.

  6, reduce administrative intervention in the market.

  According to the original rules of Quanzhou, the driver of the online car can’t "marry one woman and two" and can’t access two or more online car platforms at the same time. The new regulation cancels this regulation, and it is adjusted for the driver to sign an agreement with the platform vendor and act according to the agreement.

  It is worth noting that Hangzhou has also tried to incorporate the network car into the passenger taxi management system. To this end, Hangzhou tries its best to meet the existing taxi standards in terms of access to online car models, and proposes that the Hangzhou cruise taxi and online car exam will be implemented with "two exams in one" and "two certificates in one", so that drivers who pass the exam can not only open a car, but also drive a taxi to achieve interactive flow.

  The grey management state still exists.

  Regarding the adjustment of the new regulations on multi-network car-sharing, The Paper inquired about the opinions of many network car-sharing platforms, and generally responded that it is not convenient to say more now.

  According to the data of the Ministry of Transport, as of the end of July this year, 133 of the 338 cities at or above the prefecture level in China have issued detailed rules for the implementation of online car rental, and 86 are openly soliciting opinions.

  Some cities have been unable to introduce the detailed rules for the management of network car, and the slow progress of some network car platforms has led to the gray operation of network car drivers in many places.

  In August this year, Guizhou Metropolis Daily reported that Anshun City had been unable to introduce new regulations on online car rental. In the face of the special action of illegal operation in the whole city, more than 4,000 network cars in the city have become "illegal vehicles".

  At the same time, the number of cities that the network car platform company is allowed to land is not too much.

  In July this year, according to the People’s Daily, there are more than 130 online car platform companies in the current market. Up to now, 19 online car platform companies such as Didi Chuxing, Shenzhou Special Car, Shouqi Car and Caocao Special Car have obtained business licenses, and Didi Chuxing, Shenzhou Special Car, Shouqi Car, Yizhi and Caocao Special Car have obtained business licenses in 22, 33, 29, 8 and 13 cities respectively.