A busy year for law enforcement
As part of a crackdown on illegal gambling operations in China, police made more than 75,000 arrests last year, busting over 2,260 online platforms.
authorities cracked more than 3,500 cross-border gambling cases
According to a Ministry of Public Security of China statement, the aim was to “resolutely [curb] the chaos of cross-border gambling crimes.” As a result, law enforcement authorities cracked more than 3,500 cross-border gambling cases. In addition to the arrests, police destroyed more than 1,960 illegal payment platforms and underground banks, seizing “a large number” of funds in the process.
Chinese police collaborated with authorities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. They transported more than 600 Chinese cross-border gambling suspects to mainland China from overseas. The Ministry said it will “always maintain a high pressure on cross-border gambling crimes” moving forward.
Further details of the crackdown
Authorities in China began their major crackdown of illegal gambling operations last year. As part of this, local public security agencies conducted studies on the different types of cross-border gambling violations, then worked with police agencies to enforce disciplinary measures. The Public Security Ministry also urged Chinese citizens to report any information about prohibited activities.
According to the ministry, the crackdown focused on various overseas gambling groups, including “major shareholders, practitioners, capital service platforms, technical support platforms, gambling personnel and fugitives.” In tackling these groups, the police force eliminated networks of many large-scale overseas gambling operations.
The operation involved the creation of a “blacklist” system for cross-border gambling tourist destinations. Authorities said these regions were causing problems for China’s outbound tourism market by targeting Chinese customers.
New, harsher penalties inbound
In December 2020, the Chinese government passed an amendment to the nation’s criminal law, meaning harsher penalties for the organization of cross-border gambling in the future.
offenders face as much as ten years’ imprisonment
The legislation, proposed in October last year, will come into force on March 1, 2021. It will see offenders face as much as ten years’ imprisonment for luring Chinese residents to gamble in foreign casinos. Minor offenses carry a minimum term of five years, in addition to a fine. The amendments will pass into law during China’s National People’s Congress’ annual plenary sessions this year.
The new penalties target an area the ministry blames for a large amount of capital outflow from China. The body announced in October that $150bn left the country through cross-border gambling in the first nine months of 2020.