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New penalties for an overseas bet in China

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New penalties for an overseas bet in China

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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