Casino Royale: A Deep Exploration of Illegal Online Gambling presented at ACSAC2019 2019

by Shuang Hao, Haining Wang, Haixin Duan, Zhou Li, Kun Du, Hao Yang, Yubao Zhang, Mingxuan Liu, Yazhou Shi, Xiaodong Su, Guang Liu, Zhifeng Geng, Jianping Wu,

Summary : The popularity of online gambling could bring negative social impact, and many countries ban or restrict online gambling. Taking China for example, online gambling violates Chinese laws and hence is illegal. However, illegal online gambling websites are still thriving despite strict restrictions, since they are able to make tremendous illicit profits by trapping and cheating online players. In this paper, we conduct the first deep analysis on illegal online gambling targeting Chinese to unveil its profit chain. After successfully identifying more than 967,954 suspicious illegal gambling websites, we inspect these illegal gambling websites from five aspects, including webpage structure similarity, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods, the abuse of Internet infrastructure, third-party online payment, and gambling group. Then we conduct a measurement study on the profit chain of illegal online gambling, investigating the upstream and downstream of these illegal gambling websites. We mainly focus on promotion strategies, third-party online payment, the abuse of third-party live chat services, and network infrastructures. Our findings shed the light on the ecosystem of online gambling and help the security community thwart illegal online gambling.