A total of 7,162 party and government officials have been penalized for offenses related to gambling since the middle of 2013, Shanghai Daily said, citing a government report.
The implicated officials had come from over 30 cities and provinces across the country, although Zhejiang and Guangdong reported the most cases, with a total of 2,702 officials netted between the two.
An official with the commission for discipline inspection in Guizhou told Beijing Youth Daily that many of the officials took bribes by simply being allowed to win at mahjong. In these cases, company owners would lose on purpose in hope that they would receive preferential treatment later.
Winners can sometimes rake in over 100,000 yuan in just one session of mahjong, the official said.
In other cases, officials addicted to gambling would steal public funds to cover their losses. Just last May, the deputy director of Liuzhou’s social security management office in Guangxi was held over charges that he’d pocketed over three million yuan in public funds to pay for some soccer bets.