Taiwanese Man Faces Charges for Betting on Presidential Election

Taiwanese Man Faces Charges for Betting on Presidential Election

BlockchainLaw

By Jakub Lazurek

19 Jun 2024 (23 days ago)

2 min read

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A Taiwanese man is charged for illegally betting $500 on the presidential election via a crypto site, as authorities crack down on electoral gambling.

A Taiwanese man is facing charges for allegedly violating Taiwan’s President and Vice President Election Recall Act by betting on the presidential election through an online crypto-gambling site. This case is part of a broader effort that has seen 30 individuals detained for betting on election outcomes.

The Shilin District Prosecutor’s Office has charged a man named “Chen” for using the crypto-betting site Polymarket to bet around $500 on the presidential election. According to Taiwanese news outlet LTN, Chen placed bets of 472.17 USDC on Ko Wen-je’s victory and 60.16 USDC on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), winning a majority of legislative seats. These bets were made between December 12 and December 17, a month before the election.

Chen's actions were found to violate Taiwan’s President and Vice President Election Recall Act, which prohibits gambling on election results. Prosecutors also claimed he broke the public official election law by using the internet to gamble on central government elections.

According to Article 88-1 of the Election Recall Act, Taiwanese citizens who gamble on election outcomes face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to NT$100,000 ($3,100). This applies to gambling in public places or via electronic means. Those who profit by promoting election-related betting or offering gambling spaces can face up to five years in prison and a fine of NT$500,000 ($15,500).

Chen admitted to the crime and cooperated with authorities, earning him a deferred prosecution. With no prior criminal record, he was allowed to pay a $4,000 fine and defer prosecution for a year.

Chen’s case is part of a larger crackdown on electoral gambling by Taiwanese authorities. Reports indicate nearly 30 people have been arrested for using crypto-gambling sites to bet on election outcomes. Ahead of the presidential elections, authorities blocked access to Polymarket’s website. On December 22, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CBI) and Taiwan’s domain name registrar restricted the site locally.

By January, authorities had arrested 28 people and seized around $13,500 in crypto for breaking the election recall act. Those found guilty of profiting from election bets could face a maximum five-year sentence.

Local reports revealed that over $700,000 was wagered on the presidential elections just 11 days before the event. This significant betting activity explains the stringent measures by Taiwanese authorities to maintain electoral integrity.

In summary, Chen’s case and the broader crackdown highlight the serious legal consequences of electoral gambling in Taiwan. The government’s actions serve as a deterrent, emphasizing the importance of fair and free elections.

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