- China targets the Philippines in a gambling clamp down
- Offshore gambling operators will come under more scrutiny
- Underground financial networks at home are also part of the sweeping changes
China warns overseas operators to refrain from hiring Chinese citizens to work in the offshore gaming industry. The Philippines’ offshore gaming companies have been targeted by the Embassy in the country.
China Targets Offshore Gaming in the Philippines
China’s hostility towards the gaming sector in the Philippines is going to boost Macau’s competitiveness over the next months, analysts predict. Based on Sandford C Bernstein analysis, the process has already begun.
Specifically, China doesn’t feel comfortable with the Philippines plan to issue snap visas to Chinese workers who then start working at Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). China’s distaste for offshore gaming operations is not new.
Suncity Group recently came under the hits of the Chinese government over allegedly having syphoned off players from Macau and send them to play at affiliated offshore gaming operators instead, an accusation that Suncity has denied.
Regarding POGOs, the Chinese Embassy released an argumentative statement about its stance on that type of businesses. Yet, the Chinese government seems to be too involved with what citizens do outside the country. Here is what the statement said:
“According to the Chinese laws and regulations, any form of gambling by Chinese citizens, including online-gambling, gambling overseas, opening casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is illegal.”
Similarly, the statement explained that POGOs had been knowingly and specifically targeting Chinese citizens. Any hires in those companies had been illegal, the Embassy said.
In Big Trouble with the Red Dragon
China’s gunk-ho approach didn’t stop there. The country’s Embassy explained that much of otherwise Chinese funds have been gobbled up by greedy POGOs. As a result, China is stepping up its efforts to crack down on cross-borders gambling and preventing offshore operators from gaining access to Chinese nationals.
Domestic operations will be part of the new campaign that is designed to uproot such illegal trade. Some of the measures that the government will take upon itself is to sweep the country clean of any underground financial networks that have been facilitating gambling.
Recently, Australia’s Crown Resort was implicated in being in cahoots with Chinese crime syndicates. At one point, the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping was mentioned insofar Mr. Jinping’s cousin has been among the alleged beneficiaries of an expedite visa to enter Australia to play at the casino.
The most recent warnings released by the Chinese government should serve only one reason – to warn junket operators and online gaming companies who are tempted to try operating outside Macau and skirt gambling taxes in the region.
Under China’s vigilant eye, this is not very likely to go down well. The Embassy did say, however, that it is prepared to collaborate with the Philippines government to fight illegal POGO workers.
China recently stated that it would also welcome a move whereby the Philippines take it upon themselves to deport such illegal employees.