Chinese bank officials aim to stamp out border gambling

By Charlotte Lee Updated
Chinese bank officials aim to stamp out border gambling

Chinese officials have ramped up their bid to stamp out gambling, with the central bank pledging to target “capital chains” within the financial sector to block border gambling.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that the bank held a meeting on April 23 at which the People’s Bank of China deputy governor Fan Yifei urged all units to keep focusing on cracking down on cross-border gambling through the remainder of 2021 as per its political responsibility.

“Combating cross-border gambling is our political, long-term and systemic effort,” Fan said.

“Although certain achievements have been made in the control of gambling-related ‘capital chains’, cross border gambling crimes have not been fundamentally curbed and the situation is still complex and serious.

“We should prepare for this effort as a long-term and long-lasting war.”

Fan said all departments must focus on implementing the strictest management of cross border gambling, including improving coordination between each relevant department and its work on governing capital chains in key areas.

Meanwhile, banks should build up better technical skills in big data, cloud computing, machine learning and other financial technology tools, while exploring digital currencies and blockchain technology to combat gambling related online platforms.

Representatives from China’s Ministry of Public Security, General Administration of Customs, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Payment & CLearing Association of China, China UnionPay and NetsUnion Clearing Corporation all participated in the meeting.

Fan’s order comes just two weeks after China’s Ministry of Public Security outlined its own plans to crack down on cross border gambling crimes by strengthening international cooperation with nearby countries while expanding a “blacklist” of overseas tourist destinations it says are attracting Chinese tourists for gambling activities.

The existence of such a blacklist was first announced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in August 2020.

China blacklist not concerning Imperial Palace Saipan owner 

The chief executive of the temporarily shuttered Imperial Palace Saipan has told local officials that he is indifferent to China’s blacklist of overseas tourist destinations.

World Casino Directory reported in December that Donald Browne said China’s decision has “nothing to do” with his company and is instead motivated by China’s wish to bolster its domestic tourism market and stop funds flowing out of the country.

Although the composition of the foreign destination blacklist has yet to be officially revealed, suspicion abounds that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where Imperial Pacific International is located, could be involved.

This would subject Chinese nationals travelling to the American territory for the purposes of gambliing to a range of strict capital outflow protocols.

Browne told the chairman for the Commonwealth Casino Commission that China was concerned about the wiring of domestic cash overseas, so it created the blacklist.

“China wouldn’t make the determination to place the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on a blacklist based on these things.”

“It really has nothing to do with us because there was already gambling here before.”

The Imperial Palace Saipan development was especially popular with Chinese gamblers prior to coronavirus causing its closure in March.

The Hong Kong-headquartered firm was already struggling to pay its employees and is facing the prospect of having its Saipan casino licence revoked if it cannot begin meeting its financial obligations to a plethora of local vendors, reports claimed.

Back to top