China Starts Online Tool for Citizens to Report Illegal Online Gambling

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China has expanded its efforts to clamp down on cross-border gambling with the state now launching an online platform where citizens can report individuals suspected of running online gambling.

Chinese Ministry of Public Security Calls on Citizens to Report Gambling

Ramping up measures against unauthorized online gambling, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has created a new public online reporting platform that allows residents to tip the authorities about any individuals that may be engaging in cross-border gambling.

Citizens will have the ability to report others if they suspect them of engaging in the illicit activity. The move will extend to any type of unauthorized gambling, including iGaming and sports betting, and specifically offshore gambling.

Mediators who arrange gambling trips to other countries will also be part of the clamp-down with citizens free to report them ad lib. The system hopes to uproot cross-border gambling but also undo other injustices and associated illicit activities such as unlawful detainment, human trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, fraud, and illegal border crossing.

The Big Brother Watches

The dystopian nature of the measure aside, the Chinese government has reasons to believe that the measures work and they incentivize members of society to deliver sensitive and accurate information against wrongdoers.

Addressing the public, the Ministry said that everyone was encouraged to step forward and that people who provide accurate information that leads to arrests would receive rewards. In an almost Hellenic fashion, though, anyone who lodges a complaint against an innocent individual would be “dealt with sternly.” The specific passage about false reported read as this:

“Whoever fabricates a case or frames up an innocent individual or unit, shall be treated sternly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.”

Rewards are a common way to incentivize the public to be vigilant. Previously, the Public Security Department in China’s Jilin province offered $7,000 awards to any individual who helps authorities to crack open underground gambling rings.

The current measures are just a continuation of a move that started earlier this year. Since COVID-19 hit in February 28 and travel to Macau was cut off, online gambling traffic has increased. The activity is banned under Chinese law making anyone participating or running a gambling ring a criminal.

The crackdown extends to any individual who provides “guidance, technical support, and financial assistance for gambling payments.” The measures have been paying off, Chinese officials have confirmed, arguing that the country has confiscated $32.4 billion from 257 illegal gambling operators since the campaign launched on February 28. One of the biggest gambling rings was worth $183 million. China continues to monitor offshore gambling.

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