With a crackdown on gambling amid the FIFA World Cup, authorities in China have seized over $1.5 million in digital currency. Police started an investigation into the unnamed gambling site after ads said that the platform would “accept international recognized cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin,” CoinDesk reported.
Investigators then found out that the overseas site was using an online gambling model with digital currency payments. The site was also able to use “regulatory loopholes” to obtain profits and hide the proceeds, according to China’s Xinhua media agency.
Through the investigation, police arrested six organizers of the platform and seized $750,000 in Chinese currency deposits, along with the $1.5 million in crypto. Going forward, a Guangdong province police spokesperson said that a task force would “maintain a highly concentrated attention” on soccer gambling on the internet.
The news comes as Alphabet’s Google has decided not to run any ads for cryptocurrencies as part of its efforts to clamp down on advertisements that run afoul of its policies. First spotted by Reuters, the company said in a post that the new policy kicks off in June, and will ban ads for things like binary options, cryptocurrencies and related content, and financial spread betting, among other things.
The move comes as cryptocurrencies have garnered a lot of attention, even with regular investors. With wild price swings, governments around the world have been warning about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.
Separately, Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads at Google, said in a blog post that in 2017, the company removed more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies, amounting to more than 100 bad ads per second. “This means we’re able to block the majority of bad ad experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impact people,” wrote Spencer. “We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites last year. And, we removed 66 million ‘trick-to-click’ ads, as well as 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.”