Breaking News: China to ‘crack down’ on cross-border gambling; warns against online betting during CNY

Mainland Chinese authorities have urged Chinese nationals who are involved in cross-border gambling activities to turn themselves in, according to a notice co-drafted by the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security.

“The Ministry of Public Security attaches great importance to cross-border gambling and is prepared to crack it down. [It] will be on standby 24 hours a day, adopting a zero-tolerance attitude, and will always maintain a pressing attitude of the capital service platform, technical support platform, gambling personnel and fugitives, Liao Jinrong, director of the department of international cooperation of the Ministry of Public Security said today (Friday) during a press conference in Beijing.

“At the same time, it will work closely with the immigration department and other departments to strictly implement various immigration control measures, and strengthen law enforcement cooperation with relevant countries to effectively cut off overseas gambling groups from betting and gambling against Chinese citizens,”  the official added.

Liao also said that according to statistics in possession by mainland Chines authority, Spring Festival holiday is the most rampant period of overseas gambling targeting mainland citizens.

“It not only caused a large outflow of capital but also give rise to vicious crimes such as kidnapping, extortion. […]” Liao said.

“All kinds of organizations and persons involved in cross-border gambling and in illegal and criminal activities are warned to immediately stop the illegal and criminal activities. […] The public security organs will severely crack it down.

The notice drafted by the Chinese authorities does not name any countries.

According to the notice, mainland police authority is targeting gambling outside of China, particularly online gambling based outside of the country’s borders targeting mainland Chinese.

Providing technological support and capital support to these overseas online gambling is considered, by the mainland authorities, as a violation of the law of mainland China.

In August 2020, China established a blacklist system for cross-border gambling tourist destinations.

China reported that some overseas cities have attracted Chinese tourists for their gambling businesses, disrupting China’s outbound travel market and endangering Chinese citizens’ lives and property.

In establishing the blacklist system, the ministry and several relevant departments will impose travel restrictions on Chinese citizens heading to overseas cities and scenic spots on the list.

In January this year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China announced that China will add more overseas destinations to the blacklist.

Previously, Ge Wanjin, Director of the Macau Synthetic Social Studies Association told local Chinese media that he believes that the blacklist targets southeast countries but not Macau and the blacklist will not have significant impact on Macau’s economy.

Actually, the Ministry of Public Security warning against cross-border gambling and online betting “may be seen, in a way, as a kind of a CNY bonus to Macau from the CCP,” an industry source told the Times Friday.

Mainland authorities, however, have been advising people not to travel outside their province during the upcoming holidays to contain the risk of spreading Covid-19.

On Monday, a new gaming property, The Londoner Macao, opens on the Cotai Strip and CNY holidays start on Thursday and last for around a week.

China’s State Council has designated February 11 to 17 inclusive, as the Chinese New Year holiday period for this year. The week-long break is typically a busy period for Macau’s casino resorts and the local tourism trade.

Last year alone, it drove over a million people to the city – around the time the novel coronavirus epidemic was made public and the first cases were detected in the SAR.


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