China Reports 11m Daily Online Gamblers in New Security Report

China’s Ministry of Public Security has published a new report outlining the progress that has been made against illegal online cross-border gambling in 2020.

China Continues to Put Heat on Online Gambling

Gambling in China is going at full bore despite the government’s better efforts to clamp down on illegal activities and limit the scope of offshore betting and gaming. Yet, an estimated 11 million Chinese citizens are still engaging with various gambling products.

According to a report published by the Ministry of Public Security, efforts in 2020 culminated in 7,500 arrested individuals participating or facilitating in gambling activities along with the identification of 3,500 cross-border cases of the activity.

Based on official data, the Ministry has successfully eliminated over 2,260 gambling websites along with 890 technical support hubs, an estimated 1,960 payment processing platforms and 1,160 marketing companies focusing on promoting illegal gambling services to Chinese nationals.

The report slightly contradicts a previous report by the Ministry which has outlined different numbers in terms of arrested individuals and dismantled gambling operations. However, the previous report may have focused solely on brick-and-mortar cross-border gambling.

Protecting Chinese Nationals Overseas

China’s reach has expanded well beyond its own territory, with Chinese authorities seeking collaboration with others in the Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific regions, and leading to the arrest of 600 of its nationals across Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The country has focused efforts on so-called blacklisted countries, naming places that have been targeting Chinese nationals in a bid to lure them away from the mainland and lead them to gambling destinations.

In fact, the country recently passed a law criminalizing such efforts on part of traveling agencies organizing gambling trips. To this end, China recently suspended TripAdvisor in the country. Officially, China is looking to protect its residents from kidnappings in such gambling destinations which have been frequent. Some 55 individuals have been kidnapped on such gambling trips between 2017 and mid-2019, official data has shown.

The Ministry also reminded citizens to “consciously resist” any invitations to travel abroad for the purposes of gambling, especially to destinations that have not legalized gambling.

Payment Solutions in Focus of Anti-Gambling Efforts

A reported entitled “Online Gambling Payment and Money Laundering Industry Chain Analysis Report” published yesterday explained that at least 1 in 80 Chinese citizens gamble every day, citing the period between December 15 and December 21.

Extrapolating based on those numbers, an estimated 11.4 million residents in China have participated in various gambling activities every day through December 19, the report explained. The border province with Macau, Guangdong, seems to excite the most interest in gambling with 2.7 million gamblers registered in the province.

The report has looked not just into the raw numbers of gamblers participating in gambling, but also the available gambling platforms along with the payment methods. One popular choice has been the use of Tether (USDT), a popular cryptocurrency that enjoys anonymous transactions, shielding the identity of their users. The country continues its crack down on illegal gambling in 2021.

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