China mulling tougher measures to penalize foreign casinos targeting mainland high-rollers

China mulling tougher measures to penalize foreign casinos targeting mainland high-rollers

Continuing its crusade to stop foreign gambling companies from marketing and catering to its wealthy high-rollers, the People’s Republic of China is reportedly considering a number of measures to penalize any such entities.

According to the China News Service, the National People’s Congress’s Standing Committee is working on a law that would make it a crime for foreign casinos to target gamblers in mainland China. However, it remains unclear how the new law would be implemented and how it be enforced on a gaming company in a foreign country.

The newly surfaced report also suggested that some amendments have been made to China’s criminal code to enable authorities to take legal action against any company or individual that is found guilty of luring Chinese citizens into gambling. The first reading of the draft by the Standing Committee has already been conducted, and the second is slated for later this week. Usually, such drafts are considered three times before allowing them to become law.

Apart from hefty penalties, the list of amendments being considered by the Chinese legislators include lowering the age of criminal responsibility for a range of violent offenses as well as revising the way of handling crimes like identity theft, indecency and food & drug malpractices.

Around a couple of months ago, Chinese authorities issued a strict warning against foreign gambling companies, declaring that it would blacklist any gambling destination or venue that would target its high-rollers and also ban its citizens from visiting any such venue.

At the time, the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of China stated, “Casinos in overseas cities attract Chinese tourists to go abroad for gambling activities, disrupting the order of China’s outbound tourism market, and endangering the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens.”

The reported measures are part of Chinese government’s continuing clamp-down on illegal gambling as well as the promoters and operators of the controversial activity. It is interesting to note here that gambling is illegal across mainland China, while the country’s special administrative region Macau is the world’s leading gambling hub. Chinese high-rollers’ attraction toward gambling in foreign jurisdictions is being blamed for the slow pace of post-corona virus pandemic recovery of Macau’s casino market.

The People’s Republic has long been attempting to crack-down on foreign gambling companies as its communist government purportedly believes that such foreign venues not only disrupt the local tourism market but also results in flow of domestic currency out of the country.

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