An illicit gambling den in Macau that featured live baccarat games broadcast from a casino in the Philippines was busted by Judiciary Police during an operation on Wednesday.

Police arrested nine people from mainland China in an apartment in Dynasty Garden on Avenida Sir Anders Ljungstedt for allegedly participating in a crime syndicate and illegally operating a gaming establishment, Today Macao reported.

The gangsters running the den in Macau allegedly used WeChat, the Chinese messaging application developed by Tencent, to lure mainland tourists to gamble online, from whom they collected commissions.

It was understood that the illegal establishment had been in operation for at least a year in collaboration with counterparts in the Philippines.

Police estimated that gaming revenue reached 54 million yuan (US$8.14 million), with the syndicate garnering at least 1.5 million yuan in commissions.

Eight men and one woman aged between 19 and 32 were arrested. They were from Jiangxi, Shanxi and Hubei provinces in China. Two men from Jiangxi were believed to be the core members of the gang, Exmoo News reported.

Macau police believe that the gambling den was controlled by Macanese or Hongkongers, adding that they would search for the mastermind and counterparts in the Philippines with assistance from Interpol.