Although the full list of candidates for next year's presidential election is not yet known, the police have already shut down a gambling website that offered people the chance to bet on presidential candidates. People could place bets on Tsai Ing-wen, William Lai, Han Kuo-yu, Eric Chu, Ko Wen-je, and even Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Taiwan's next presidential election will take place in 2020, and it is expected to be hotly contested. Recently, the police shut down a gambling website that offered netizens prizes if they managed to correctly guess the next president. The website was operated by a New Taipei City resident and engineer who previously worked in the IT industry. People could place bets using the cryptocurrency EOS, and those who correctly guessed the winner would receive cryptocurrency as their winnings. The website went online on Mar. 29. It was shut down by the police on Apr. 2.
Those who wanted to place bets first had to apply to download an app and have EOS currency. They could then go to the website and place their bets on their preferred candidate.
Many gambling websites now use blockchain technology, as it is decentralized and anonymous. This also allows them to "recognize currencies, not people," thereby avoiding police scrutiny. The presidential candidates this website allowed people to bet on included Tsai Ing-wen, William Lai, Han Kuo-yu, Eric Chu, Ko Wen-je, and even Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Honhai Precision Industry Company chairperson Terry Gou. As the website was only online for five days, only the equivalent of NT$ 5,280 had been bet. This was much lower than the cost of establishing and operating the website, which totaled over NT$ 100,000.
We seized the computers, displays, modems, and mobile phones used to set up the website at the scene, as well as the virtual wallet account used for the gambling.
The official election campaign period has not yet started, but the police have already discovered the first presidential election gambling website. The case will be transferred to the Shilin District Prosecutors Office for investigation, and the suspect is expected to be charged with offenses of gambling in accordance with Article 268 of the Criminal Code.