In China and proposed federal legislation that would make it a crime for individuals or entities to encourage mainland citizens to gamble overseas reportedly includes a provision that could see guilty parties sentenced to a prison term of between five and ten years.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the stiff punishment has been included in a suggested amendment to the country’s criminal code that has already had two positive readings before a standing committee of the National People’s Congress. The source detailed that this proposition is now undergoing a three-week period of public consultation but is nevertheless expected to be officially ratified as soon as March.
Although it reportedly remains unclear just how Beijing intends to enforce this draconian measure, the amendment would nonetheless bring the penalty for such solicitation activities in line with those for individuals found guilty of serious instances of operating an illegal casino. The proposed revision to Article 303 of China’s criminal code moreover purportedly seeks to increase the minimum prison term for illegally ‘opening casinos’ to three years while leaving the maximum incarceration period for punters found to have gambled illegally at the same three-year duration.
Reportedly reads a section of the draft legislation…
“Whoever operates or manages casinos, or is designated by casinos outside the country, and organizes or solicits Chinese residents to participate in overseas gambling where the amount involved is large with a serious nature shall be punished according to provisions under the preceding paragraph.”
China has reportedly long been attempting to crack-down on its citizens going abroad to gamble with the giant nation’s Culture and Tourism Ministry having established a ‘blacklist’ of overseas tourist destinations in August. The government is purportedly thought to believe that such foreign locations disrupt the local tourism market and lead to large amounts of domestic currency flowing out of the country.
In related news and GGRAsia reported that China’s Public Security Ministry recently revealed that the first nine months of 2020 are thought to have seen mainland residents take approximately $150 million out of the country for the purposes of gambling. This source explained that no details were given regarding how much of this cash had subsequently been seized despite authorities having arrested over 60,000 suspects via 8,800 investigations.
The Public Security Ministry reportedly furthermore divulged that it had helped to dismantle about 1,400 operations since the start of the year allegedly connected to ‘illicit payment platforms and underground banks’ helping residents to gamble overseas. It purportedly declared that this had additionally led to the foreign arrests of 590 Chinese citizens and served as a ‘strong deterrent’ to anyone tied to ‘international gaming companies’ possibly considering whether to entice mainland punters into their facilities.