China Vows To Crush Online Gambling For Harmony's Sake

28 February 2007

Anti-obsession controls already in place
By Burke Hansen in San Francisco
Wednesday 28th February 2007

Due to its proximity to mainland China, gambling development in Macau has exploded – recently even surpassing Las Vegas’ legendary Strip in revenue terms – and international players, such as Ladbrokes, have been positioning themselves to expand into the mainland itself when the time is right.

It could be a long wait.

The mouthpiece of the Chinese government, Xinhua news agency, recently announced that the Chinese government has set its sights on crushing the unlawful internet gambling industry.

The Chinese government banned gambling, among other popular vices, back in 1949 after the Communists pushed the more vice-friendly Nationalists off the mainland into Taiwan. In the decades since then, the mainland has periodically instituted “spiritual purity” campaigns to purge the masses of whatever spiritual pollution persists, and to purge the government and party ranks of those who have fallen out of favour.

“The prevalence of online gaming has ruined the online environment and harmed young people’s growth, which runs against the policy of building a harmonious society,” said a circular jointly issued to Xinhua by the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Information Industry, and the State Press and Publication Administration.