China: 14 arrested for illegal online gambling

Those arrested were part of a single group operating in the Jiangxi, Chongqing, and Fujian provinces.
Those arrested were part of a single group operating in the Jiangxi, Chongqing, and Fujian provinces.

Police have arrested 14 people linked to five betting websites based in the Philippines.

China.- China Central Television (CCTV) has reported that 14 suspected members of a “gambling syndicate” allegedly linked to five gaming sites located in the Philippines have been arrested. Police said the online operations targeted Chinese consumers and generated nearly CNY10bn (US$1.57bn) in revenue over the past three years.

Authorities found that the actual location of the five gambling sites was in the Philippines and said the sites had more than 200,000 member customers in mainland China. Those arrested were accused of cross-border gambling in the Chinese cities of Jiangxi, Fujian and Chongqing. They’re suspected of helping to run the gambling sites and settle player bets.

In February, the Ministry of Public Security said it was going to continue its efforts to crack down on cross-border gambling this year. Through a statement, the ministry recalled the action it had taken in 2021 and said it would continue the policy this year.

China plans to work with international law enforcement bodies and push for “joint crackdown” action with other countries so that cross-border gambling groups that targeted mainland Chinese nationals could receive “severe punishment”.

In a statement released in January, the Ministry of Public Security said authorities had dismantled “more than 2,200 online gambling platforms” and “more than 1,600 illegal payment platforms and underground banks” in 2021. In 2020, China created a blacklist of destinations to which cross-border transfers are controlled.

The blacklist is compiled through work by multiple departments, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security.

Macau to proactively tackle illicit gambling websites

Police will join forces with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) and Macau’s six casino operators to tackle illicit gambling websites that make fraudulent use of the city’s casino brands. Police said all parties would “proactively” seek out such sites with the aim of taking them offline or blocking them.

According to authorities, the problem has intensified since market liberalisation in Macau at the turn of the century.The judicial police said this “not only caused losses to tourists and citizens but also damaged the image of Macau as a tourist destination”.

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