Game site closes pending election violation review


TAIPEI — The CEO of online gaming website Funtown is being investigated for allegedly violating the election law because of an online game that allows players to predict the outcome of the upcoming Jan. 14 presidential election, police said yesterday.

Gamers that play Funtown’s game can make bets with points on a number of subjects including politics, economics and current affairs, and the gamer with the correct prediction can win points based on the odds, the police said, adding that one of the bets is “forecasting who would win the 2012 presidential race.” The police suspected the game involved real gambling and noted bets made on each presidential candidate could be interpreted as an alternative form of election poll. Publication of opinion polls are banned 10 days before elections, according to Taiwan’s electoral laws.

Funtown’s CEO, surnamed Hung, who was interviewed by the Criminal Investigation Bureau on Thursday, refuted the allegations.

He said the predictions were made in the virtual world and the gaming process did not involve real gambling or illegal profits. Moreover, Hung claimed, the game did not have any impact on the election.