China’s Cross-Border Gambling Travel Blacklist Expanded
A travel blacklist in China has grown, with new areas listed where the country is trying to protect its citizens from cross-border gambling.
Being blacklisted is never good. Whether you are a person or a business that is blacklisted it is a major negative. In China, a travel blacklist continues to grow, with several cities and regions added, in an attempt to stop cross-border gambling. Just this week, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the country announced that more overseas destinations have been added to the list. The decision was made to regulate tourism and safeguard the property and lives of citizens in China.
More Countries Listed
Officials in China announced the blacklist back in August 2020. However, the areas on the list remain a mystery. No one knows which areas are blacklisted. There has been speculation of course, with analysts looking at which countries citizens of China would visit to gamble. Such areas include Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
Of those areas mentioned, the Philippines is the largest. Over the past few years, relations with China and the Philippines have improved. This led to a larger travel base from China. However, the Philippines has caused some issues with China recently after the online gambling industry was legalized. The industry targets players from China.
Many analysts believe that the Philippines is on the list as officials in China do not want the country to cater to its citizens. They want the money earned by its residents to stay in China and not be gambled away in other countries.
Analysts have also suggested that the government is not providing details on which countries are affected right now due to the current state of affairs. With the pandemic in place, there is no way that players can travel to some parts of the world. So, essentially, the blacklist is not needed yet.
The government could be waiting for the list to have a larger impact. Perhaps they want something in return to remove a country or regions name from the list? It is unclear at the moment but what we do know is that gamblers in China will be affected.
Is the Government Trying to Protect Macau?
Could it be that the new blacklist was created to protect Macau? The gambling mecca is basically the Las Vegas of Asia. For many years, Macau has brought in hundreds of millions in revenues from gamblers who travel from all over the world to visit the city.
Since the pandemic began, Macau has been struggling. The region relies on gambling revenues and for many months, people were unable to set foot in the city. Even when restrictions were lifted, players had to quarantine for a specific time frame upon arrival. Depending on where players were traveling from, quarantine might also be required in the home country.
Because of the many restrictions, including quarantine, the number of travelers to Macau has deteriorated. The region is trying to recover, but it is slow going. Macau has not been hit hard by the virus itself, as the borders were shut down early and strict protocols remain in place.
However, the rest of the world is still struggling with the virus which dictates how and if people will travel. Analysts feel that the blacklist will be good for Macau as it will protect the gambling industry, but the recovery process will still be slow going.
With the blacklist, players from China will be forced to go to Macau as other locations will be marked off the list. It will be interesting to see if the list becomes available and just which areas of the world have been blocked by the government of China. Will it work? Or will the blacklisted areas try to fight back?