China looking to block online gamblingWednesday, Aug 2, 2017 13:27
No market for online gambling in China?
Chinese citizens who use foreign online gambling sites may have to find some new hobby to entertain themselves. This is a result of the news which broke stating that overseas online gambling sites will be blocked in China by next year. This is bad news for the industry in Asia, which was hoping that it would begin to grow further in China. State-run telecoms operators have been outlined to begin cracking down on virtual private networks (VPN).
China’s government shows no signs of being anyway lenient towards overseas online gambling sites. Earlier in 2017, China’s ministry of industry and information technology outlined that all VPN services would need to gain government approval in a move which made it very difficult for betting companies to try to break into the potentially lucrative Chinese betting market. The Chinese government said that this move was being enforced as part of a “Clean up” of unauthorised internet connections. Virtual private networks can be used to reach banned sites, which is why the Chinese government are now acting very strict with these matters. Many Chinese citizens use VPNs to visit news sites, social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, and online gambling platforms.
The strict policy looks set to be enforced early next year and the Chinese government have announced that some action must be taken by February 1st. This will come as a huge blow to European casino sites such as Paddy Power, Bet365, LeoVegas and so many more betting companies who would’ve been hoping to make a real breakthrough in the Chinese gambling industry. They will now have to turn their attention elsewhere and think of new initiatives and markets in order to expand their respective companies.
Bet365 were previously rumoured to be operating an online gambling service and China but last year Bet365 stated that they were not operating illegally in China, in response to accusations made against the company by Spotlight Research. Online gambling organisations came out saying that the accusations were self-serving, misleading and inaccurate, before adding that Bet365 does not have any operational base in China and they certainly are not breaking any of the country’s laws related to gambling, whether it’s
online gambling or otherwise.
The accusations suggested that Bet365 were running an online gambling website catering to Chinese customers and that this would likely be considered illegal and could be used to evade Chinese capital controls. However, Bet365 maintain that they are 100% innocent in this matter.
There is a lot of money coming into sport in China in recent times, especially in the domestic Chinese football league. Many big football stars from across the globe are now plying their trade in China, due to big money contracts which are being offered. This makes the online gambling market a very enticing market but for the foreseeable future, China's online gambling market looks like a no go area for European bookmakers.