China’s Ministry of Public Security says it investigated more than 17,000 cases of cross-border gambling and arrested more than 80,000 suspects in 2021 under increased measures aimed at cracking down on criminal activity.
It also destroyed more than 2,200 online gambling platforms, 1,600 illegal payment platforms and underground banks, 930 illegal technical service teams and 1,500 gambling promotion platforms, according to information published Friday.
The figures come in the wake of a series of announcements by Chinese authorities in recent years around their plans to tackle the issue of cross-border gambling, including the establishment in August 2020 of a “blacklist” of overseas tourist destinations which the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said at the time was disrupting the nation’s outbound tourism market by opening casinos targeting mainland Chinese customers.
The Ministry of Public Security stated in April 2021 that it planned to destroy all cross-border gambling syndicates operating in China and cut off capital and technology chains – a promise that ultimately led to the arrest and detention in late November of Alvin Chau – the CEO of Asia’s leading junket promoter, Suncity Gaming Promotion Company Limited. Suncity has since closed down its junket business.
On Friday, the Ministry of Public Security said it and other departments had used “a variety of means to comprehensively carry out crackdowns and governance, and have successfully destroyed the gambling and gambling networks and money laundering channels of many overseas super-large gambling groups in China.
“The special management of shell companies and the transfer of gambling funds from public accounts, blocking and disposing of a number of cross-border online gambling websites and applications, effectively curbed the spread of cross-border gambling and the rampant trend of betting and gambling against Chinese citizens.
“At the same time, we have implemented a ‘blacklist’ system for overseas key areas of China’s gambling and gambling, strictly controlled entry and exit of personnel, and made every effort to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the people.”
According to the Ministry, over 1,100 criminal suspects had answered a call issued in February of last year to hand themselves in to authorities in order to be given a “lighter or mitigated punishment.”
The Ministry also promised to continue its fight against cross-border gambling “with the strictest measures and the greatest strength, and deploy multiple waves of public security organs across the country” in order to “safeguard our economic security, social stability and national image.”