Authorities ramp up their efforts
The Chinese authorities are placing major emphasis on cutting down on illegal cross-border online gambling in 2020, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Security’s Vice Minister, Sun Lijun.
Sun Lijun spoke about the authorities’ successes in combating illegal gambling throughout 2019. Acknowledging the significant results to date, Lijun said that overall, the illegal gambling space has not been fundamentally changed as “gambling fund settlement methods are constantly being renovated.”
Major betting events ahead in 2020, including the Tokyo Olympics and the Euro 2020 Football Championship, are expected to prove popular among illegal operators.
Strong results in 2019
Numerous China government departments came together for a meeting as part of Gambling Prohibition Publicity Month. The nationwide program serves to emphasize the state-run lottery system as the only legal form of gambling on the mainland.
7,200 criminal cases involving online gambling in 2019, which saw more than 25,000 people arrested
The meeting presented key statistics from the crackdown operations carried out in 2019. The data shows 7,200 criminal cases involving online gambling in 2019, which saw more than 25,000 people arrested. A total of $2.6bn of suspected online gambling cash was frozen or seized by the authorities.
The records also indicate a decrease in the volume of bets made and visits to illegal gambling sites by Chinese residents year-on-year. Tougher enforcement has also resulted in higher transaction costs for the illegal platforms.
Sun Lijun said there would be a significant cross-border clampdown. He added that the authorities would “target key gambling countries and international gambling groups in the surrounding areas.”
In 2019, the Chinese authorities called upon other nations across Southeast Asia to ban online gambling and take strict measures against illegal operations. The action was triggered by operations in these countries that were found to be targeting Chinese residents via online gambling sites.
Relations with the Philippines
The Philippines did not implement a similar online gambling ban despite requests from the Chinese government. It plans to continue to legally license online gambling operators in the region.
However, the Chinese and Philippine authorities have announced they will be working together to fight against illegal gambling operations based in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte said there would be no interference in the country’s laws from Chinese officials.
The Philippines President added that Chinese residents found to be illegally working in the country’s gambling sector will be deported. In 2019, the majority of the 2,000 illegal aliens who were working in the Philippine gambling industry and subsequently deported were Chinese nationals.