Beijing is staying true to its commitment to crackdown on cross-border gambling related activities. China brought a new amendment to its criminal code into effect on March 1, 2021 that rolled out harsher penalties to those involved in any activities related to cross-border gambling.
China has remained concerned during the last few years over the amount of money leaving the country due to cross-border gambling. Junket operators for many years have made it their business to find VIP gamblers across China and then get them over to foreign casinos in South Korea, Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines where they spend millions of dollars in special VIP gambling rooms.
China has a blanket ban on gambling related activities which is why junket operators lure Chinese gamblers away to foreign casinos. The amendment to the criminal law was to put an end to these activities.
Crackdown On Russian Gambling Operation
Authorities in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces have published details of a massive crackdown on cross-border gambling relative activities. The report showed that over 140 individuals have been arrested for running a massive gambling operation where Chinese gamblers were lured to play at the VIP rooms of the Tigre de Cristal Casino.
The Tigre de Cristal Casino is located in the Vladivostok, Russia where a Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone has been established for casino operations. The authorities’ claim that this illegal gambling operation in China amounted to over $250 million flowing out of China which is massive as that is the equivalent of CNY 1.6 billion.
Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd is the owner of Tigre de Cristal Casino. Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd is a Hong Kong based company that is owned by a Chinese company called Suncity Group Holdings Ltd. Suncity Group declined to comment about the cross-border investigation and arrests made.
Beijing Sends Strong Message
The authorities said that out of the 140 plus arrests, 75 of these individuals were involved in different roles in the illegal operation. Some were casino employees, others were travel agents that helped VIP gamblers get to Russia and others were board members. All of these individuals will now be tried under the newly amended criminal act.
Beijing is sending a strong message to all junket operations and illegal gambling operations in China in another attempt to discourage them from luring Chinese gamblers to foreign casinos.