China crackdown on online gambling continues

Chinese administration looks to strengthen unauthorised cross-border online gambling laws in 2020

Gaming illegalities have been exposed in China by the country’s top crime-fighting agency, with over 7,200 cases of online illegal activities operating in China recorded in 2019 and US$2.6 billion in suspected online gambling cash seized. In a statement issued Monday, China's vice-minister in the Ministry of Public Security, Sun Lijun, has been clear that despite the 'continuous decrease' in the volume of bets placed and in the number of visits to online gaming platforms, the country plans to continue its purge of unauthorised online gambling into 2020.

These stats were delivered at a meeting of multiple government departments who are embarking on ‘Gambling Prohibition Publicity Month,’ a national program designed to remind China’s population that gambling on pretty much anything except the state-run lotteries is out of bounds and will provoke serious consequences.

Sun Lijun said China would look to “deepen cross-border online gambling prevention and control work.” While efforts to date have achieved “significant results,” the overall situation “has not been fundamentally changed” because the “gambling fund settlement methods are constantly being renovated.”

2020 will be an interesting year for the development of iGaming across South East Asia especially with the likely influx of unauthorised betting activity the Euro 2020 football tournament will like trigger. Cambodia acquiesced to pressure from Beijing last year to shut down its locally licensed online gambling sector as of January this year - reports from Cambodian officials claim that 91 casinos which had previously targeted mainland Chinese clients are now closed.

The ban and subsequent closures mean many affected businesses are already relocated to the Philippines, as Manila looks set to become the leading hub for iGaming operations in Asia.

Beijing “understands” Manila’s law enforcement system, Duterte told ABS-CBN News. The Philippines has the “prerogative to do what you want to enforce the law,” Duterte quoted the Chinese envoy as saying. “In fairness to the Chinese government, they understand,” he added.

The Manila Justice Department has however recently announced new immigration rules to ensure that Chinese tourists cannot overstay their visas in the Philippines.

About SiGMA Expo:

The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA's largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.

For those planning to attend SiGMA Manila, AIBC Manila and ICE Asia at SMX on June 8-9th, this is the buzzing business environment to be expected:

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