Only days before the Chinese New Year, the government announced that the efforts against gambling trips and illegal gambling will continue. In a statement, the Ministry of Public Security urged individuals who were guilty of such offenses to surrender in exchange for a lenient punishment.
China Ramps Efforts against Illegal Gambling and Gambling Trips
In light of the upcoming Chinese New Year, the government officials announced that the efforts against illegal gambling activities and gambling trips will continue. China’s Ministry of Public Security released a statement on Friday urging operators and individuals guilty of cross-border gambling or illegal gambling activities to surrender.
The Ministry added that any of the guilty parties that surrender to the authorities and confess their crimes before April 30, 2021, may receive a lenient punishment. Furthermore, people involved in minor offenses may also be exempted from criminal prosecution or punishment as long as they confess their crimes.
Liao Jinrong, director of the Ministry’s Bureau of International Cooperation spoke to Inside Asian Gaming, and cited relevant data which outlines that the Chinese New Year is the holiday period that is “most rampant period for overseas gambling groups”. Furthermore, he acknowledged that those activities result in “outflow of funds” but oftentimes are accompanied by violent crimes such as extortion, kidnapping, and other “vicious crimes“. Jinrong also stressed that social stability and economic security underline the holiday atmosphere.
China Wants to Decrease the Money Flowing to Foreign Land Casinos
It was back in December 2020 when the Chinese government voted an amendment to the country’s Criminal Law, which enabled courts to issue prison sentences over trips organized with the intent to gamble. The toughest sentences may be up to 10 years in prison for individuals arrested and found guilty on such allegations. Although the amendment to the Criminal Law was voted in December, it would become effective on March 1, this year.
By introducing a ban on gambling trips, China is after decreasing the flow of money to foreign land casinos. In fact, a Ministry of Public Security report dated September 2020 revealed that Chinese gamblers have spent $146 billion with foreign operators.
As a part of its anti-gambling sweep, in December, the country banned the popular travel platform TripAdvisor. Furthermore, the Chinese government claimed that approximately 100 mobile apps were a threat to national security and consequently banned them.