The iOS and Android game FishingJoy has become a new tool for gamblers to earn money, Beijing police said.
The recent bust of a gambling ring with some 30 participants in Fangshan District resulted in six being arrested on charges of illegal gambling.
FishingJoy came to the attention of Beijing police in December. Police said they found it odd that, in spite of the game’s content, the primary users were adults rather than children.
The investigation found a woman surnamed Liu regularly showed up at the online game center to help players change game points into currency.
Police said the game itself wasn’t illegal, but the woman’s conversion of game points into currency transformed the game into an indirect form of gambling.
On December 15, 80 police officers were dispatched to begin apprehending suspects in Fangshan District.
The FishingJoy game center had specific rules: all game points could only be used for gifts. The woman police apprehended was privately exchanging game points into money using smartphones and sold game points to players.
“Players could earn points through game, but they could also lose them easily,” police said.
Many players lost their money in serval minutes and spent more money to purchase points. Some lost hundreds or thousands of yuan in a day of playing.
Police said some of the suspects may have had access to adjust the game’s difficulty to control when players would lose or gain money.