China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) says it has made every effort to crack down on illegal cross-border gambling over the past three years, detecting 42,000 cases of cross-border gambling between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2022. Together with other economic crimes, a total of RMB190.5 billion (US$28.3 billion) in economic losses were recovered, it said.
The statistics were outlined by MPS spokesperson Li Bei during an online press conference on 7 May, with Lei claiming the Ministry had also eliminated 6,066 online gambling platforms and solved 240,000 cases of economic crime.
Li pointed out that mainland Chinese authorities have continuously organized special operations to combat illegal fund-raising crimes and handled more than 300 cases involving P2P loan platforms in accordance with the law during the period in question. Special organizations targeting cross-border gambling aimed to “annihilate” underground money markets with Li stressing that “authorities have focused on combating illegal capital channels and professional criminal syndicates that endanger economic security, and have destroyed 2,825 cross-regional criminal syndicates.”
China has made no secret of its efforts to fight cross-border gambling, with those efforts seemingly heightened ever since the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced in 2020 the establishment of a “blacklist” of overseas tourist destinations it said were disrupting the nation’s outbound tourism market by opening casinos targeting mainland Chinese customers.
More recently, Macau’s junket industry has been largely brought to its knees following the arrests of Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau and Tak Chun Group CEO Levo Chan, with both companies since ceasing their junket operations. The number of licensed junkets in Macau has since fallen from 85 in 2021 to 46 in 2022, with recent reports revealing only 37 are currently in operation.