Categories: Gambling LawsIndustry

Online Gambling in China Faces Government Crackdown

China bans virtually all forms of traditional gambling. Despite this, many individuals in this country choose to gamble over the internet here. This week, news is coming out that online gambling in China is facing a major government crackdown.

Most of the focus will be on shutting down illegal gambling sites based in the Philippines that target Chinese players. Today, we’re going to look at the laws on gambling in China. We’ll also look at how the government here plans to crack down on the internet gaming industry as a whole.

China’s Laws on Land-Based and Online Gambling

China has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the world. For decades, all forms of gambling have been illegal here. This includes casino-style gambling and sports betting. Punishments for those caught gambling are severe.

The only form of wagering that this country allows is lottery gambling. Mainland China runs two lottery systems, the welfare lottery and sports lottery. Both offer individuals the opportunity to win prizes while the government uses the money earned to support charitable causes.

Online gambling in China is banned as well. It is completely illegal to gamble online here or offer any internet gambling services. For years, the government has attempted to censor and block gambling sites in Europe that accept Chinese players.

As you might expect, many people in this country still choose to make wagers online. Recently, gambling sites in the Philippines have begun to actively target Chinese players. Now, the government is beginning to crack down on these websites.

Government Ready to Stop Online Gambling in China

It’s clear that the Chinese government is fed up with their citizens gambling online through websites based in other countries. It’s extremely difficult to monitor the internet gambling industry, particularly when websites are purposely targeting the Chinese market. This week, the Chinese embassy sent a formal letter to the Philippines addressing the issue of illegal gambling websites.

“According to the Chinese laws and regulations, any form of gambling by Chinese citizens, including online gambling, gambling overseas, opening casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is illegal. The casinos and offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and other forms of gambling entities in the Philippines target Chinese citizens as their primary customers,” the official statement reads.

The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing casino industries in the world. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently announced that he’s stopped his fight against the gambling industry, giving casino companies here more opportunities to grow and generate revenue. Under Philippine law, gambling websites can offer services online once licensed by the government.

Many of these sites, called POGO’s, are now going after the lucrative, yet illegal gambling market in China. Lawmakers in China are claiming that these websites are increasing crime and fraud rates in the country.

China’s President Set to Address Illegal Online Gambling

You know that China is taking this seriously when the president gets involved. According to the statement from the Chinese embassy, President Xi Jinping will personally discuss the issue of gambling websites targeting Chinese players with President Duterte later this month. Jinping claims that many Chinese nationals are to blame for online gambling in China, as they help to promote this illegal industry.

“A large number of Chinese citizens have been illegally recruited and hired in the Philippine gambling industry. In many cases, the employers of Philippine casinos, POGOs, and other forms of gambling entities do not apply necessary legal work permits for their Chinese employees. Some Chinese citizens are even lured into and cheated to work illegally with only tourist visas.”

The discussion between Jinping and Duterte is the largest meeting between presidents over the online gambling industry. We’ll need to wait and see how these two countries proceed over the next several months.

The government is working hard to completely eliminate online gambling in China. Officials are not happy about the Philippines targeting Chinese players while using Chinese nationals to promote the websites.

How do you think China will work to further limit internet gambling? What steps will the Philippines take to stop gambling sites from operating in China? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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