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New Taipei police seize claw machines modified for gambling

Stakeout leads to discovery of secret claw machines used for gambling

Claw machine gambling operation raided. (CNA photo)

Claw machine gambling operation raided. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A claw machine arcade in New Taipei’s Yonghe District was raided by police on Sunday (Nov. 5) for modifying claw machines for gambling purposes.

Acting on a tip, Yonghe Police set up a task force that carried out a multiday stakeout to gather evidence of gambling operations. Police later learned the arcade had a secret door behind which modified claw machines were kept, per CNA.

Later, a search warrant led to the apprehension of the 33-year-old operator of the arcade, surnamed Wang (王), a 25-year-old employee, surnamed Chen (陳), and five gamblers. Poilce also confiscated NT$230,000 (US$7,146) in illegal gambling gains.

Wang had outfitted claw machines with a special IC board, allowing gamblers to engage in an illegal dice game. When making contact via a Bluetooth speaker, a gambler could convert their coin for the equivalent of a NT$700 wager, winning between NT$300 and NT$50,000.

Prize winnings depended upon the combination tossed by the claw machine involving approximately half a dozen dice. For example, gamblers would win on agreed-upon combinations such as “all red” or “all black."

Police also seized a money-counting machine, a coin-counting machine, a video monitor, two surveillance cameras, and other related evidence. Both Wang and Chen will be transferred to the New Taipei District Prosecutor's Office for gambling and violations of the Social Order Maintenance Act.