China must resolutely eradicate the conditions for cross-border gambling – Top security official

China must take the strongest measures to strictly control and resolutely eradicate the conditions for cross-border gambling, the Chinese Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, stated after a presiding a special meeting on fighting cross-border gambling in Beijing yesterday, (Thursday), according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

According to Zhao, Chinese authorities should continue to take the best strictest measures to crack down on cross-border gambling crimes and “resolutely curb cross-border gambling chaos” by paying more attention to both the symptoms and the root causes of cross-border gambling and via inter-departmental prevention efforts

Tackling the issue was seen as part of efforts to safeguard the country’s economic security, social stability and national image in a year when the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 100 founding anniversary.

The top official also underlined that “remarkable results” had been achieved in cracking down on cross-border gambling since last year and demanded that severe punishments for cross-border gambling syndicates.

In January of this year, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism also announced that it would extend its travel blacklist of overseas gambling jurisdictions or countries that promote gambling tourism for Chinese nationals.

then one month later, China’s Ministry of Public Security issued a statement urging criminal suspects in cross-border gambling to ‘surrender’ and focused on overseas gambling groups that are attracting gambling during the Chinese New Year.

The notice highlighted that authorities would be taking action against individuals engaged in criminal activity tied to overseas gambling, after the rampant spread of illegal online gambling in China.

Then an amendment to China’s criminal law enforced on March 1 determined that anyone who ‘organises’ mainland Chinese for the purpose of ‘overseas’ gambling will be deemed to have committed a criminal act.

Although analysts have considered that the changes target mainly gaming operations in the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam the wording of the new amendment’s establishes that cope of action to gambling “outside the country (borders)”, leaving the possibility for Macau gambling operations to be covered by it.

The crackdown targeting cross-border gambling is believed to have further impacted an already hailing VIP gaming sector, strongly dependent on the cross-border services provided by junket operators.

Reports have also indicated that at least three gaming concessionaires have suspended or restricted customer service services in mainland China as a precaution to avoid possibly infringing new Chinese criminal regulations on overseas gambling.