China to crack down on online betting

CHINA will launch a six-month crackdown on rampant online betting, saying the growing industry is causing large flows of currency out of the country.

betting has been illegalized in China since the Communist Party came to power in 1949, but that has not stopped a thriving underground industry.

The campaign, which will last until August, will be carried out by eight government agencies, including the Ministry of Public Security, the central bank and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Online betting “has caused large cash outflows from the country and seriously disturbed social and economic order,” stated a statement posted on the public security ministry’s Web site Monday.

The campaign aims to “bust a number of syndicates from home and abroad that collude to organise betting activities on the Internet and severely punish the illegal rings,” it stated.

Authorities will also clamp down on underground banks and third party payment platforms that provide cash transfer services for betting sites, as well as Internet operators that provide Web access services, it stated.
“(We) will clean up betting information and Web sites across the board,” the statement stated.

The campaign is the latest in a series of steps the government has taken to strengthen control over Internet use, which is expanding at a dizzying pace in China.

China has the world’s largest online population with at least 384 million users, according to official figures.

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