China is stepping up efforts to prevent its citizens from gambling offshore, in a move that threatens gaming operators based in the Philippines.
The Chinese embassy in Manila released a statement warning “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."
The embassy claims “hundreds of millions of Chinese Yuan” has flown illegally out of China and into the Philippines through gambling-related funds.
The statement comes amidst vast criticism of internet and phone gambling in the Chinese state media over the past month. State-run Xinhua reported in July Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi pledged to put an end to cross-border online gambling in accordance with the law, resulting in several busts of online gambling rings.
Wynn Resorts' Macau-based casinos suffered falls in table game turnover for VIPs in Q2 this year, with Wynn Macau specifically at $9.3bn, down 33%. Many high rollers have taken their business overseas to nations like the Philippines, where proxy gambling is permitted.
Macau’s economy is reliant on casinos, with 80% of the government's revenue being accumulated from these venues.