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China to impose destination blacklist for overseas gambling

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced a new blacklist system for cross-border gambling tourist destinations, preventing Chinese citizens from travelling to these locations.

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Established in line with other government departments, the blacklist was allegedly devised to stop “endangering the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens”.

While the announcement didn’t list the destinations concerned, JP Morgan analysts speculate that operations in the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Australia could suffer.

“There has been a rising number of Chinese outbound tourists in recent years as international travel becomes increasingly convenient. However, some overseas cities have attracted Chinese tourists for their gambling businesses, disrupting China’s outbound travel market and [posing a threat to] Chinese citizens,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The Chinese government asked the Philippines, which has several integrated resorts and a thriving online gambling industry, to ban all online gambling services in August last year. However, Philippine officials pointed out that it was a sovereign decision for the nation.

Cambodia said that it had stopped issuing new permits to firms wanting to provide online gambling services, but still has accessible casinos for Chinese citizens to travel to.

The JP Morgan analysts added: “At this stage, it’s difficult to know exactly how the [Chinese] government will clamp down and what it means by ‘blacklisting’, but we suspect capital flows through underground banks and agents, as well as junkets’ promotion of these overseas markets, will be heavily scrutinised.”


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