China to trace financial footprints of online gambling firms

China Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi
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China has announced further measures to blacklist online gambling companies targeting its citizens, and new methods to trace their financial activities.


At a meeting in early March, the Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, declared his intention to investigate the finances of online gambling operators as soon as possible, and to “completely destroy groups of criminal organizations.” Zhao noted that cooperation with other nations, where offshore igaming operators are based, had been necessary and effective. Such “joint strike” operations had seen police in Cambodia and Malaysia make thousands of arrests of workers in illegal China-facing online gambling companies.

The minister said his next step would be to enlist the cooperation of payments giant, UnionPay, in tracing financial footprints of suspected operators through their customers.

UnionPay has already warned it will now “standardize the display of transaction information” to track anyone who’s either gambling or paying gambling brands with false names or transaction details.

The corporation said it would flag suspicious loan arrangements and other “illegal public merchants” and take legal measures against any unauthorized use of the UnionPay service.

China’s Ministry of Public Security began the first blacklist of online gambling firms this year, adding 13 names in January.

It now says many more will be weeded out, blocked, and subject to ongoing investigations.

The ministry said it already has “a number of major cases” where Chinese customers have worked with internationally based gambling operators. Zhao also assured he intends to “strengthen the ‘fund chain’ and ‘technical chain’ of governance measures”, to prevent gambling funds from circulating.

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