China may criminalise overseas gambling promotions

By Violeta Prockyte

China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is working to amend the criminal law to include more defined views on cross-border gambling activities.

China News Service reported that the agency reviewed the law involving overseas casinos and mainland citizens, and the act of “organising and soliciting by casinos abroad” will be criminalised. 

The report by the news service didn’t state the specific penalties for the new crime or when the proposed law will come into effect. 

There’s also no clear definition of what is considered as cross-border. The responsible agency stated that cross-border gambling caused a large outflow of capital and seriously damaged “national image and economic security.”

The proposed amendment also featured adjusted penalty terms for establishing casinos in the country, but it's still unclear what those penalties would be, either. 

JP Morgan Securities stated the new law could be detrimental to junket promoters, who act as middlemen between mainland residents and gambling locations, such as Macau.

According to GGRAsia, analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An agree that while gambling promotions have been understood to be illegal even before the proposal, “a clear-cut ban on such activity would undoubtedly lead to fear among many junket operators and agents, in our view, as even a personal solicitation [of a mainland player] may be viewed as… illegal under the reported amendment.” 

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