Home Casino Leads to Jail Sentence for Notorious Chinese Celeb

5 years ago
Home casino leads to jail sentence for Guo Meimei
11 Sep

A Beijing district court yesterday sentenced 24-years old Guo Meimei to 5 years imprisonment for ‘running a casino’, after her confession last year to organising Texas Hold’em games for guests in her own home. A fine of almost $8000 was also levied.

Ms Guo had also admitted on television to organising betting on the 2014 soccer World Cup, and her accomplice, Zhao Xiaolai, was handed a 2 year sentence and fined over $3000 at the same Doncheng District People’s Court.

Despite her admissions on television, Guo pleaded not guilty at her short trial, claiming:

“I should not have participated in gambling” she said, “but I don’t think my actions constituted the crime of running a casino.”

The offences were alleged to have taken place between 2011 and 2014, according to The New York Times

Gambling is illegal on the Chinese mainland, and although Guo was in Macao when she declared on television that she ‘loved to gamble’, her poker parties had been held at ‘an upscale apartment building’ in eastern Beijing.

Macao is a former Portuguese colony, now a Chinese territory where gambling is legal – the PokerStars Macao Poker Cup is currently taking place there.

Guo became a figure of hate for many Chinese when she claimed to be the commercial general manager of the Red Cross Society of China, while simultaneously flaunting her lavish lifestyle which included Lamborghini and Maserati cars and ‘a closet full of Hermes bags’.

She later withdrew her claims of representing the Red Cross, but her public reputation – and that of the Red Cross Society – had been ‘irreparably tarnished’. Guo told the court yesterday ‘”I know I’ve made mistakes,” but the public mood was not so forgiving.

“The dregs of society,” was Di Yingchen’s pronouncement on ‘ The Paper’ website, adding, “They could have given her a heaviersentence.”

There were people willing to defend Guo, however, with one online forum member of ifeng.chat stating:

“There are officials, we don’t even know how much they’ve taken,” adding, “her little bit of stuff, it’s trivial.”

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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