China is continuing to bolster its armoury for tackling illegal online gambling – with a new portal through which citizens can report others’ suspicious activity, and giving heightened powers to the central bank for tracking and tracing payments.
The developments are only the latest in a steadily building arsenal of tools to monitor igaming operations both at home and abroad – and shifting its focus from illegal gambling rings to more ubiquitous and mainstream .com B2C offerings.
The effects of one such new payments initiative announced only in February have already been dramatic: $32.4bn seized from 257 outfits in only the last three months.
The People’s Bank of China has now been charged with studying the effects of new tools to tackle “cross-border gambling financial supervision and resolutely cut off the cross-border gambling capital chain.”
Among the new provisions to achieve this are identifying merchants using mobile payment channels, bank cards and QR/barcodes to require ‘face-to-face’ registration.
“We have been warning for some time that China’s intentions to crackdown on online gambling are earnest, have the potential to be highly effective and could have global repercussions ,” said Regulus Partners.
“We believe (albeit a guesstimate) that the ‘direct B2C’ Chinese online gambling market is worth c.US$15bn in net revenue terms (ie, excluding agents). With the agents, China is the cornerstone of global liquidity for soccer and basketball (and therefore betting prices) and an increasingly important market for online gaming (including poker: the IDN and GG Poker networks can now, almost, rival PokerStars for liquidity and dwarf all other Western providers); the world’s biggest exchange is also largely Asia-facing.