• Cross-Border Gambling Crackdown

Cross-Border Gambling Crackdown (Photo : Getty Images)

China’s police ministry has called for more assistance from overseas law enforcement agencies for its operations against cross-border gambling which includes casinos.

In a meeting in Beijing, Minister for Public Security Guo Shengkun said "work units and individuals who induce and organize tourists to visit overseas casinos" would be "seriously investigated and prosecuted."

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Investigations on investments in overseas casinos would also be conducted and the guilty will be prosecuted, he added.

"The bureau should strengthen international cooperation in anti-gambling and step up overseas law enforcement cooperation and fugitive repatriation," Guo said, as quoted by state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Guo gave the statement as he outlined a new phase of Operation Chain Break, the country’s cross-border gambling crackdown. The new phase of the two-year-old program will pursue online gambling and payments made using underground banks.

However, the move also coincides with the Australian politics debate on whether the parliament should sanction a controversial extradition treaty with China.

Crown executive Jason O’Connor and other employees of the casino are still detained in Shanghai. They were arrested last year for allegedly violating Chinese gambling laws.

Prior the Crown arrests, Chinese mainland VIP gambling has been heavily targeted by Crown and Star Entertainment Group, the two biggest Australian casino and resort operators. Both companies still depend on the Chinese tourism market for their resort businesses.

Star, with its Hong Kong-based partners, is creating two developments in Brisbane and Sydney. The company hopes to attract Chinese visitors.

“Forceful measures” to halt the spread of online gambling have been discussed at the Beijing meeting. Online gambling was deemed as being "against social morality" and encouraging corruption.

According to Guo, rewards will be given to the public for "reporting clues related to gambling."

Operation Chain Break would "dig deep and strike underground banks and online payment platforms who provide capital settlement to cross-border online gambling," he added.

The Chinese police expect to restrict cross-border gambling with the help of overseas authorities.