China Considering Legal Action Against International Casinos
China’s government is considering taking legal action against foreign operators of casinos if they target high rollers in the country.
China is a country that is known for being strict in a number of ways, but especially when it comes to gambling. The government has a tight hold on gambling in the country and refuses to give any leeway. The People’s Republic of China is so straight, they have been fighting for quite some time to stop international casino resorts from providing services to their wealthy elite. The government is now considering taking legal action to stop casinos from marketing to their citizens.
Right now, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) is looking at a law that would charge international casinos with a crime if they target gamblers from China. The government seems to be trying to think of any and everything to ensure that money does not leave the country.
It is unclear as to how such a law would be enforced if the activity mentioned is taking place in another country. It is also unclear as to what type of penalties would be in place for those gaming facilities who continue to market to the wealthy citizens of the country.
The law is just another way that the country looks to crackdown on cross-border gambling. Citizens in mainland china are prohibited from gambling. The only option they have currently is state-run lotteries. Because of this, players will travel to international resorts to enjoy casino games.
International operators have been known for targeting Chinese nationals as they are a group that enjoy gambling and will spend large amounts on games as well as other entertainment, hotel stays, and dining.
Citizens of Mainland China are allowed to gamble in Macau, so this area is usually excluded when it comes to gambling crackdowns. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China and one that has its own autonomous government.
Despite citizens being allowed to gamble in Macau, the high stakes gambling activity of the region has come under fire over the past few years. Citizens are now allowed to use the region as a tax break to move money from the control of China. Back in 2013, six licensed casino operators of Macau won a whopping $45 billion in revenues from betting, so China President Xi Jinping told law enforcement to monitor the VIP junket groups better.
Junkets are where the money is at in Macau. The casino resorts in the region use junkets to bring in Chinese VIP gamblers. The groups earn a commission for bringing in gamblers, but they must also be responsible for obtaining any debt players may accrue from gambling.
China sees the flow of money across its borders as a risk to national security. They have started to crack down on junket operators and suppress this activity. Because of this, the gross gaming revenue numbers have dropped around $17 billion in just a few years.
Aside from Macau, there are junkets operating in other areas that have come under fire by the Chinese government. Asia as well as Oceania target this group of players and China has wasted no time in fighting back. In August 2020, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in China announced a new blacklist of foreign casinos.
This list included casinos that target citizens of China. The government plans to impose travel restrictions on these areas. However, no destinations have been made public, so it is unclear as to which areas will be banned for travel.
The country is also working to block offshore gambling operators from the Philippines from allowing online gambling by mainlanders. This is yet another effort to stop citizens from gambling with money that will not remain in the country.