China Adds More Countries To Its Cross-Border Gambling Blacklist
Chinese gamblers are the most sought after gamblers in the world as the Chinese love to gamble. However, gambling is banned in Mainland China with the only exception being the Macau peninsula which is an hour away by ferry from Guangzhou.
Gambling operators from around the world look to lure Chinese gamblers to their overseas casino destinations and often dish out special perks for Chinese VIP gamblers who are known to travel to overseas casinos and spend millions of dollars.
Casino operators tie up with junket operators who serve as middle-men in bringing Chinese VIP gamblers to these casinos. Beijing has warned both Chinese gamblers and junket operators in recent times about overseas gambling activities. The main concern is over the huge capital outflow that is causing a negative impact on China’s economy.
China reported that a total of $150 billion left the country during January to September 2020 for the purposes of cross-border gambling. China announced a special blacklist in August 2020 to ban overseas gambling destinations that were specifically luring Chinese gamblers.
China also passed a new law that specifically targets junket operators from organizing overseas gambling activities for VIP gamblers. This new law comes into effect from March 2021 and will allow the government to initiate criminal proceedings against anyone who has helped facilitate overseas gambling activities.
Gambling Blacklist Getting Bigger
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is reported to have expanded the gambling blacklist by introducing a number of new countries. So far no details have emerged as to which countries have been added to the blacklist.
While most overseas casino operators target the Chinese market, neighbouring countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia are sure to be on the blacklist as they have turned into ‘gambling friendly’ destinations for millions of Chinese. The fact that these countries are a short flight away and have very lenient money laundering laws makes it an ideal destination for Chinese gamblers.
Australia and South Korea have also focused on the Chinese market in recent years and could very well be on the blacklist. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism confirmed that Chinese citizens will have to comply with travel restrictions when they visit any of the blacklisted countries.
While Beijing experiments with the cross-border gambling blacklist, we will have to wait and see if it really stops Chinese gamblers from visiting and spending big money at these overseas casinos.