Chinese government sqaushes online lottery sales

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Posted on: August 22, 2018, 06:00h.

Last update on: August 22, 2018, 05:20h.

In China – where most gambling is illegal – the government is taking increasingly austere measures to curb popular activity among its citizens. But online gambling in particular is proving to be the most difficult for Chinese authorities to contain.


The Chinese government has announced a tougher crackdown on online lottery ticket sales, but could it signal an even more austere internet control plan? (Picture: PCP)

On Tuesday, Chinese leaders announced plans to “severely crack down on all forms of illegal business activities, such as online private lottery and online gambling conducted in the name of lottery tickets”, according to a prepared statement released. by the country’s Ministry of Finance.

A total of 12 departments signed the proclamation, saying violators will face stiffer penalties than under previous policies.

Companies or individuals using the Internet to sell lottery tickets in addition to restricting or prohibiting participation in the production and operation of lottery institutions cooperation in accordance with regulations, if the circumstances are serious, are categorized as acts of serious dishonesty and are included in the National Credit Information Sharing Platform and the National Business Credit Information Publicity System,” the ad said.

Players in China often get their fix through one of the two state-run lotteries. Proceeds from the so-called “welfare lottery” are used to benefit the elderly and disabled population of the country. The sports lottery gives players the ability to choose the outcome of professional football competitions and is the second largest lottery in the world, according to Forbes.

But players are only allowed to buy their tickets in the traditional way. The sale of online tickets for Chinese social and sports lotteries has been banned since 2015 in order to combat fraud, the government insists.

Bite on Apple

Earlier this month, the government came out against tech giant Apple Inc., saying the company failed to abide by bans on Chinese content and accusing the monster tech provider of allowing the distribution of content. game applications through its App Store.

Soon after, Apple removed 25,000 gaming apps from the Chinese version of its store.

“We have already removed numerous apps and developers for attempting to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find and stop them…” a statement said. from Apple.

power play

Continued attempts to control what Chinese citizens can and cannot access on the internet could be a prelude to larger plans the country’s government is developing.

The Economist reported earlier this year that President Xi Jingping wants to make China a “cybernetic superpower”, capable of leading the world in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. The report also states that China is home to 202 (35.4%) of the world’s supercomputers.

Ahead of this year’s World Cup, Chinese authorities proactively removed hundreds of gambling sites from the internet. The move prompted bettors to migrate to WeChat, a mobile messaging platform hosting a billion monthly users. In response, the government subsequently deleted 50,000 WeChat accounts and 8,000 group chats involved in World Cup betting.

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