More pressure to come on illegal gambling in China

Multi-ministry drive to eliminate online gambling will only intensify

Commenting on the recent slew of arrests in raids on Internet gambling operations in China (see recent InfoPowa report), a director of the government's cyber security bureau warned this week that there was more of the same in the pipeline.

Vice director in the Ministry of Public Security, Gu Jian, reiterated the government's vow to increase the pressure on what he referred to as illegal Internet gambling entities, noting that there were over 2 000 such websites, mostly controlled by persons outside China.

Gu told the Xinghua news agency that online gambling exists in all Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to "varying degrees."

He singled out the Pearl and Yangtze river deltas - China's export-oriented industrial heartland - and the border areas of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province as areas of particular concern.

Police investigations had shown that nearly all major international gambling groups have Chinese-language websites to target Chinese gamblers, and some even send operatives into China to recruit agents, he revealed, adding that conservative estimates were that tens of billions of yuan flow out of China via online gambling annually.

Chinese police cracked 210 online gambling cases and arrested 918 suspects in the 13 days ending February 20, after eight Party departments, government ministries and financial regulatory bodies launched a seven-month nationwide campaign to curb online gambling earlier that month.

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