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BEIJING (Reuters) - Police in eastern China have busted a 7.8 billion yuan (862.54 million pounds) online gambling ring and arrested 56 suspects, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The suspects are accused of making illegal profits of 650 million yuan from the Philippines-based platform, which had more than 114,000 users, Xinhua said, citing police in Jiangsu province.

The investigation into the gambling website was launched in January 2016 after a tip-off, the report said, adding that four of the prime suspects were traced through bank card information.

Calls to police in Jiangsu seeking comment went unanswered.

Casino gambling is illegal in mainland China, with budding punters having to travel to the special administrative region of Macau that borders southern China's Guangdong province.

Fifty suspects in the online gambling case were arrested in Shanghai, Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong, Xinhua said, while another six returned to China from the Philippines and handed themselves in. They are now being transferred for prosecution.

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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Reuters