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China – Foreign casinos soliciting Chinese play to carry ten year prison sentence

By - 22 October 2020

The penalty for soliciting Chinese customers to visit foreign casinos will match the five to ten year jail sentence for some actually opening a casino in China.

The latest amendment, Article 303, targets gaming activities both within and outside of China, will be made available for public consultation until November 19 with the likelihood it will be brought into law in March.

The draft states: “Whoever operates or manages casinos, or is designated by casinos outside the country, and organizes or solicits Chinese residents to participate in overseas gambling, where the amount involved is large with a serious nature, shall be punished according to provisions under the preceding paragraph.”
The penalty for engaging in gambling or making an occupation of gambling is set to remain at three years imprisonment.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress wants to criminalise the ‘organisation and solicitation of casinos abroad’ due to ‘large capital outflow’ causing ‘serious damage to the nation’s image and economic security.’ Around RMB1tn (US$145.5bn) in gambling spend leaves China each year.

Sands China’s President Wilfred Wong said: “We understand the National People’s Congress is still debating the final form of that legislation. But we must remember that the main target is really gambling in foreign countries, including, particularly Internet and telephone betting. However, Macau has never been considered foreign in China. And all of concessionaires in Macau respect the law in China, and we never promote gaming in China, only our hospitality and MICE facilities and services. So we believe that Macau has a unique place under the one country, two systems in China and that we will continue to operate under the confine of the legislation.”

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