China Goes Hard on Cross-Border Gambling in a New Blacklist
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the Chinese government has started a blacklisting structure of foreign tourist destination zones that they think are intruding on the country’s external tourism market. They say the various destinations are launching casinos that target clients residing in mainland China.
In line with a statement issued by the Ministry, the new cross-border gambling tourist destinations blacklist system was developed in association with other government departments. The new system will see a selection of travel restrictions placed on citizens of China traveling to certain spots and cities abroad mentioned on the blacklist.
The Ministry says the blacklisted locations are thought to be endangering not only the personal safety but also property safety of the Chinese. No details have been provided regarding exactly which countries are on the list. Nevertheless, investment bank JP Morgan analysts feel that it’s the emerging Southeast Asian gaming destinations like the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and possibly Australia that are the target.
For some time, China has been targeting the Philippines and Cambodia, even though Cambodia already agreed to close down its regulated online betting business late last year. The Philippines, on the other hand, declined the same action to be taken towards its POGOs.
According to JP Morgan’s analysts Derek Choi, Jeremy An, and DS Kim, China’s new blacklist system announcement appears to be a continuance of its effort to bring illegal overseas betting to an end. On top of that, the move also aims at stopping cross-border capital flow from the industry.
The analysts also stated that there’s uncertainty concerning the action the government will take based on the list and what it really means to be a city or spot on the blacklist. The analysts think it implies that capital flow via underground agents and banks alongside the marketing of overseas markets by junkets will seriously be scrutinized.
The JP Morgan analysts also indicated that Macau was unlikely to be negatively affected by the blacklist announcement. This is because the Central Government doesn’t consider the city as an overseas betting market. In fact, they might gain from the move seeing as it may drive demand to the region.