According to a report by Invenglobal, VPGame, the Chinese betting website, has been raided with around 20 of their board members being placed under arrest. The raid reportedly happened in January 2021 after suspicions regarding VPGame’s involvement in illegal betting activities. The police are currently said to be interrogating the arrested members to determine if VPGame had committed activities that breached China’s stern anti-gambling laws. Additionally, the company’s bank accounts have also been frozen which has led to delayed salary payments to its employees. It is unclear and unknown if VPGame’s owner, Pan "Ruru" Jie, has also been arrested or is being investigated for suspicions of illegal real money gambling.
What happened to VPGame - the Chinese betting website?
VPGame is one of the most popular betting websites in the esports scene which also provides media coverage of titles like Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO and more. It is owned by LGD Gaming and also supports the English esports website VPesports.
Earlier, users could bet on the outcome of tournament matches using in-game skins. However, when Valve imposed restrictions on trading between accounts, the administration of VPGame introduced the ability to bet using their own virtual currency (called P-Coins) in addition to the skins. This currency could be obtained by trading CSGO or Dota 2 skins, which had no real value and therefore didn't directly violate any laws.
While Chinese law explicitly prevents gambling sites from using real money, it does not prohibit betting with digital items. However, VPGame is alleged of selling P-Coins for real money, which means the platform possibly violated Chinese gambling laws.
There is very little information available online about the police investigation into VPGame, as the investigation is being conducted with heightened secrecy measures. According to insiders (via Invenglobal), the company's management is accused of creating an illegal trading network that sold P-Coins to users and developing point monetization mechanics (such as a system where players could gift these points to each other). In May 2018, AFK Gaming published evidence of VPGame’s admin fixing Asian professional Dota 2 matches.
Because of the police raid and the freezing of bank accounts, many company employees were not able to receive their salaries.
AFK Gaming has reached out to VPGame for their comments on the matter and will update this article if we receive a response