According to our source, the Ministry of Public Security of China informed in the Thursday statement that the Police on the Chinese mainland detected more than 37,000 cases of alleged ”cross-border gambling” in 2022. The statement did not include information about the number of cases of actual or attempted gambling at land-based casinos against frequent Macau closures driven by the Covid-19 waves.

Illegal gambling platforms busted:

The ministry detailed that the Police had busted more than 2,600 alleged online platforms since the beginning of the year 2022. At the national level, police operations detected more than 1,100 illegal casinos, as well as more than 2,500 allegedly illegal payment platforms and underground banks this year.

Extensive police operations:

The Thursday statement also said that ”more than 1,200 technical support teams and 1,600 platforms promoting gambling” were detected and halted by the Police across mainland China in 2022.

The Ministry of Public Security added that the Police targeted cross-border gambling and managed to reveal ”19 major cases” after a three-month search focused on illegal gambling activities committed on the territory of mainland China. However, the authority did not mention either the amount of money or the number of suspects allegedly involved in these “major cases.”

Legal gambling affected by Covid-19:

Macau is the only place in China where casinos and casino gambling are legal. However, the region is facing another wave of Covid-19 infections hitting one-sixth of Macau’s population. Consequently, Macau’s casinos are dealing with either closures or suspensions of a part of operations due to the absence of staff caused by the contagious wave.

In this regard, the President of Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association, Wong Fai, said: “Macau is grappling with a widespread Covid-19 wave that also affects the hotel sector’s human resources: many properties have now limited their services because they are short-handed.”

Limited gambling options:

The latest closures represent another series of 2022 restrictions in the only Chinese region allowing gambling. The land-based casino fans had two options this year: wait for Macau to open or seek other places for gambling. Those that chose the latter option are now facing charges for cross-border gambling by the authorities.

Commonly imposed measures:

The authorities concluded that The Ministry of Public Security would cooperate with other government departments to join intensified efforts ”to create a healthy social atmosphere that opposes gambling”  by sanctioning cross-border gambling.

They have implemented these measures before. In past, the Chinese authorities reported interceptions of some citizens attempting to leave the country and explained that these citizens were bound for gambling trips abroad. According to our source, such measures have become commonly imposed on the residents of mainland China.