Last Updated: June 21, 2024

The accused gets a deferred prosecution for admitting his guilt and cooperating with the investigators.

A Taiwanese man pleaded guilty and received a deferred prosecution for betting on the outcomes of the country’s presidential elections that concluded on January 13. According to reports in a local newspaper, the man with the “Chen” surname was on June 18 charged with placing a bet of 472 USDC on crypto betting platform Polymarket on the win of fledgling Taiwan’s People Party’s presidential candidate Ko Wen-je. Chen also placed a 60-USDC wager on the Democratic Progressive Party winning a greater number of seats in the 113-member legislature, the Legislative Yuan.

Violation of the Election Recall Act

The prosecutors in the Shilin District Prosecutor’s Office said the bettor violated the President and Vice President Election Recall Act which forbids Taiwan citizens from gambling on the country’s election results. The investigation revealed that Chen placed the bets through his mobile phone between December 12 and 17, 2023.

Taiwanese laws provide for up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $3,100 if caught gambling on the country’s election results. These provisions apply to both in-person and online gambling. A person or organization that organizes or profits from gambling on Taiwan’s election results faces an even harsher punishment of up to five years in jail and $15,500 in fine.

The deferred prosecution details revealed that Chen admitted to his guilt and cooperated with the investigators. As Chen had no record of previous conviction, he was granted deferred prosecution for a year.

Crackdown on Polymarket, Bettors

In the wake of national elections, Taiwan authorities warned Polymarket users not to place bets on election results as it violates the country’s laws. Taiwan authorities even blocked Polymarket on December 22, 2023, restricting its access locally.

Several raids were carried out and around 30 people were detained and $13,500 was seized for illegal wagering activities. An estimated $700,000 was wagered on the Taiwan election results.

In the US, Polymarket reportedly faced a series of regulatory challenges, including a $1.4 million fine by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in 2022.

However, these setbacks did not stop Polymarket’s growth and popularity. In May, it received a $70-million investment from Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin and venture capitalist Peter Thiel.

About the Author

Arun is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years worth of experience writing for various digital media companies. He is well-versed in the field of blockchain, gaming, and tech. LinkedIn: LinkedIn