August 11, 2023 2 min read


China Blocks $227M Payments Designated for Gambling in 2022

China’s gung-ho stance on gambling has not changed in 2023, and it certainly did not budge in 2022

The country’s Payment and Clearing Association has confirmed that it had been able to block as much as $277 million worth of payments designated to illegal gambling platforms last year. The statement was part of an annual report on payments published on Thursday, but there was little actual detail as to what activities may have been targeted.

China Coming Together to Stem Flow of Gambling Money

Overall, the association is a cohort of banks, financial institutions, fintech companies, and nonbanking payment institutions. The entire enterprise is overseen by the People’s Bank of China, which is itself looking to significantly reduce the incidence of illegal gambling.

There have been more than 60,000 gambling-related suspicious transactions flagged by the association during the observed period, with 4,292 payment accounts and 54 merchants said to be directly involved in gambling transactions. China presently prohibits any and all forms of gambling bar the national lottery.

This has caused many mainlanders to gamble abroad, visiting various locations in Southeast Asia, which has posed its own set of challenges. For one, many Chinese nationals have been kidnapped by human traffickers, prompting China to exert its charm offensive with regional allies and pressuring governments into cracking down on offshore gambling operations that had targeted nationals.

The country’s campaign against illegal gambling has carried well into 2023, with China arresting hundreds of individuals. Most recently in July, China’s News Service agency reported that 300 individuals were arrested because of their connection to cross-border gaming. At least seven gambling platforms and 20 gambling locations were raided as part of this effort.

Illegal Businesses Thrive Despite Tough Penalties

The illegal business(es) generated at least $55.9 million worth of transactions, the news agency stated. In the meantime, it also transpired that the gambling business had targeted mainlanders, luring Chinese gamblers in the thousands to place wagers with the illicit operations.

China has issued much tougher measures on such behavior, including threatening prison sentences to those who participate and encouraging citizens to report others who may have been breaking the law in this (and other ways). Despite the significant penalties that wrongdoers face, illegal gambling is worth billions in China, and perpetrators are tempted to continue until they are caught – which is usually the case.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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