Police say group took in 1.1 billion yuan in six months Beijing police have detained seven people in connection with an online soccer betting syndicate, state press reports say. The Legal Daily said yesterday the seven were believed to have run a sub-cell of an overseas syndicate, taking in 1.1 billion yuan over six months. The seven were detained last month when police acting on a tip-off searched a house in western Beijing. Officers found 150,000 yuan in cash, a depository note worth 210,000 yuan and a bank card linked to a 60,000 yuan account during their search of the house and two computers. The newspaper said the 'third-tier' cell controlled at least 37 smaller cells that collected bets across the city. Police are turning their focus to online gambling as the number of visitors to online betting websites has risen sharply in recent years, media reports say. In a recent statement issued by the Ministry of Public Security, online betting was listed as one of the main gambling activities 'that have plagued the country and caused a devastating impact'. The Ministry of Information Industry has pledged to take a hardline approach to online gambling, such as cancelling the operating licences of domestic internet service providers that offer connections to overseas online casinos. 'We're going to crack down on them one by one,' Deputy Minister Xi Guohua was quoted by Xinhua as saying. The Communist Party kicked off a nationwide campaign against gambling at the start of the year, after Cai Haowen , a mid-level official from Yanbian , Jilin province , made at least 27 trips to a Hong Kong-run casino in North Korea and gambled away about 3.5 million yuan in public funds. He has since been stripped of his party membership and all official positions, and is on a wanted list.