AG Asia Entertainment Shutdown As China Crackdown On Online Gambling
The strict regulations on online gambling have risked the operations of many companies such as the online operator AG Asia Entertainment.
Gambling in mainland China is illegal. Macau, the country’s special administrative zone, is the only Chinese territory allowed to host gambling. Macau’s economy relies solely on its gambling industry. Hong Kong, another Chinese-claimed territory, restricts gambling but allows Macau to advertise gambling products in the city.
Despite the ban on online gambling in China, many Chinese played in online casinos and sports betting platforms. The gamblers placed their bets on offshore gambling operators operating in countries with loosened online gambling legislations like the Philippines. Most of the online gambling operations in Southeast Asian countries are run by Chinese nationals catering to the mainland’s high demand.
Junket, online gambling operators felt the impact of the crackdown
The Chinese government has seized more than $32.95 billion from bank accounts linked to online gambling. The crackdown had a huge impact on junket operators and online operators in the world’s largest gambling hub. Because of the government’s restrictions, AG Asia Entertainment ended its operations and notified its clients to withdraw their funds starting August 12.
The junket operated in the Philippines, but it was operated out. Many junkets are not directly related to the gambling industry, but VIPs use them as mediums for payments.
Macau Junket Association director Lam Kai Kuong believes that the crackdown on junkets means the best days are over. He warned that the industry would never go back to its 2018 level unless the country lifts its restrictions.
The online gambling company operating in the Philippines, Suncity Group, shut down business in the country before the closing of AG Asia. Speculations believe that the companies’ closures, named Philippine Offshore Gambling Operations (POGOs), are due to the actions of the Chinese government towards bank accounts.
POGOs face criticisms in the Philippines after being linked to criminal activities such as kidnapping and sex and human trafficking. Clients of Macau’s casinos lined up to withdraw funds weeks after the government’s lockdown reports.
China strictly regulates gambling
The demand for gambling in China continued to grow, proven by the increasing number of gamblers involved in online casinos. The country discourages its people from joining online gambling platforms and raided hundreds of local gambling facilities to stop online gambling.
China’s anti-online gambling campaign encouraged its people to publish their distaste towards online gambling through posters and videos. The government provided prizes, including laptops, tablets, and other gadgets for anti-online gambling propagandas, and the winners will also get a chance to increase their social credit score.
The submission of the propaganda is until September 30. China’s ban on online gambling is contrary to the decision of other nations.
Many countries around the globe changed their outlook towards the industry as leaders seek an alternative source of revenue.
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