From the People's Daily App.
This is Story in the Story.
Police across South China's Guangdong Province detained more than 17,000 suspects after cracking down on 4,000 criminal cases involving gambling in the first eight months of 2019.
The Ministry of Commerce announced in 2017, “any entertainment venues that allow their customers to gamble or contain video machines on which people can gamble will be shut down and have their business licenses revoked.”
Special campaigns will be launched to fight against crime in Guangdong Province, one of the country's economic powerhouses, before the end of the year.
In Guangzhou, police detained more than 190 suspected gamblers, including bankers, organizers, gang heads, and key members of the gangs after busting a major gambling gang.
Gambling has been illegal on the Chinese mainland since 1949, leaving Macau and Hong Kong the only places where it is legal in the country.
Today’s Story in the Story looks at gambling addiction and how it can destroy a person’s life.
Cai Hui, (second from right), director of the social security bureau of Guangdong provincial department of public security said more special campaigns would be launched to fight against the crimes in the province, one of the country's economic powerhouses, before the end of the year. (Photo: China Daily)
The 54-year-old man once called the "King of the Gamblers" by the media, now spends time shuttling between cities, sharing his own experience to motivate others to quit gambling and instruct people to take control of their lives.
Both of his legs were amputated in 1993 after he was beaten after being caught cheating while gambling.
"We cannot live our lives in vain. Many people just don't realize how their lifestyle will impact their path in life," Yao said.
Yao was well-known for his bad-boy reputation in his hometown in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, and dropped out of school when he was nine years old.
He then worked as a laborer earning a very meager salary that could barely feed himself. It was at that time when Yao started to gamble.
Laborers gambled in their pastime. "I stole when I lost money. I was caught when I stole money," Yao said.
Informed by other prisoners while he was in jail that there are tricks to winning in gambling, he made up his mind to learn how to cheat.
After he was released from prison, Yao took lessons from a man who was a famous "cheating master" of the underground.
By the time he was in his 20s, Yao had earned millions of yuan and became famous in the city of Nanchang.
In October 1993, Yao boarded a casino ship with a businessman to sail off the coast of Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province.
Taking millions in cash and two of his men, Yao was in the biggest gamble of his life.
Yao Jianyun (Photo: Global Times)
His cheating gimmick was exposed on the spot by his opponents as his man betrayed him while the casino ship sailed into international waters. Later, six men held him down, shot him in the legs, and cut three fingers from his left hand with a knife.
"This was my payback for my immoral behavior (referring to his cheating)," Yao said.
Depression shadowed his life for many years. He even tried to commit suicide. In August 1998, Yao divorced his then-wife and left his fortune to her and their daughter.
Later, Yao found a job singing in night clubs and recreation venues in many provinces, including Hunan and Hubei.
While entertaining his audiences, he would also showcase cheating skills to them.
Starting from 2004, Yao was invited to participate in an anti-gambling program on China Central Television, during which he exposed the cheating methods in gambling to discourage people with the addicting habit.
But doubts and criticism followed him. A local newspaper in 2005 called him a swindler, writing that his legs were run over by a train.
"I know what I've been through. I didn't respond, and I don't have to explain," Yao said, apparently offended by such rumors.
Now, Yao is very busy attending different commercial activities in cities across China as a motivational speaker, giving lectures and speeches to people who want to improve their businesses and personal relations.
He once tried to start an anti-gambling club in his hometown, where he would persuade people to quit their addiction by showcasing his cheating techniques.
But the local government did not approve the project for fear that Yao may use such a club to make money through teaching cheating skills.
He eventually remarried and has a four years old daughter.
"My family motivates me to be better. I don't want to let them down," Yao said.
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, and Da Hang. Music by: bensound.com. Text from China Daily and Global Times.)