China unveils blacklist of overseas gambling destinations

The country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced a “blacklist” allegedly devised to stop “endangering the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens”

Gambling is big business when it comes to tourism. However, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Department of China has stated that it has established a "blacklist" of overseas gambling tourism destinations (not including Macau), listing some cities that have opened casinos to attract Chinese tourists and disrupt the business order of China's tourism market. 

大陸文旅部將建跨境赌博旅游目的地「黑名單」。圖/文旅部官網According to an announcement issued on Wednesday, the blacklist targeted some cross-border gambling tourism destinations and was compiled by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in conjunction with other departments. If Chinese citizens travel to places on the blacklist, they will face relevant travel restrictions.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism described the cities and locations on the blacklist as "endangering the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens." 

Although it is still unknown which countries are included on the blacklist, analyst of the investment bank JPMorgan Chase stated that China may target emerging gambling destinations in Southeast Asia such as the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as Australia for their primary target.  

Among them, the Philippines and Cambodia are probably the first to bear the brunt. The two countries where gambling is popular have recently become targets of China. For example, under the pressure from China, Cambodia already agreed to shut down the local regulated online gambling industry at the end of last year, but not Philippines, Philippines rejected this request from China and chose to keep their Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). 

This seems to be part of its crackdown on illegal overseas gambling (agent betting, live streaming, online casinos, etc.) and illegal cross-border money laundering since last year. The intensity of this action has increased significantly in recent months." Says JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An. 

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