China’s National People’s Congress has via its Standing Committee, given final approval to an amendment to the country’s criminal law.
The change also covers anyone organising trips for gambling in Macau, a special administrative region of China.
Anyone who organizes mainland Chinese for the purpose of overseas gambling will be deemed to have committed a criminal act. The change was signed off on Saturday, and takes effect on March 1, 2021.
The latter market has for many years supplied numbers of high-roller gamblers to Macau, including according to some investment analysts, people that grew rich in China’s manufacturing and export boom of recent decades.
The approved legal amendment says that a prison term of up to 10 years can apply to cases involving any person who “organises” mainland Chinese citizens to gamble – in the literal translation from the Chinese – “outside the country (borders)”; and where there was a “serious” amount of money involved, or for cases considered to have “grave consequences”
Wang Changbin, a gaming scholar at Macao Polytechnic Institute, said “By the term ‘outside the borders’, that could mean activities that are conducted in the special administrative regions – i.e., Hong Kong, Macau – as well as Taiwan.”
He added that mainland-China references to things occurring outside the country’s “borders” were usually interpreted as meaning outside mainland China, but still encompassed all Chinese “jurisdictions”, i.e., including the special administrative regions.
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