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Eight Accused Of Illegal World Cup Betting

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Federal authorities say eight people from Malaysia, China and Hong Kong are accused of operating an illegal gambling ring that took millions of dollars in bets on FIFA World Cup soccer games in high-roller villas at a Las Vegas Strip resort.

A criminal complaint unsealed Monday accuses Wei Seng Phua, a suspected organized crime member, and the others of participating in a scheme to take bets over WiFi and DSL lines they installed at Caesars Palace.

FBI and Nevada Gaming Control Board agents made the arrests Sunday in three Caesars suites. Agents reported finding a laptop computer logging illegal wagers.

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden says the Las Vegas operation began shortly after Phua left the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, after he was arrested June 18 on similar allegations.

The eight people were being arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. Phua's lawyer, David Chesnoff, was not immediately available before the hearing.

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