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Chinese Embassy warns citizens in S’pore to avoid gambling as it violates China’s laws

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Chinese Embassy in Singapore says citizens will be held accountable for overseas gambling

In what might be a blow to casinos in Singapore, the Chinese Embassy here has warned its citizens to avoid gambling overseas.

While gambling is allowed and unrestricted for foreigners in Singapore’s two casinos, overseas gambling by Chinese nationals violates China’s laws, the Embassy said.

Source: Google Maps

Offenders will be held accountable under the law, it added.

Chinese Embassy reminds citizens in Singapore to stay away from gambling

The anti-gambling reminder to Chinese nationals was posted by the Chinese Embassy in Singapore on WeChat on Monday (18 March).

It “solemnly reminded” all citizens in Singapore to increase their legal awareness and “stay far away” from gambling.

That’s because gambling is strictly prohibited under Chinese law.

Macau, a special administrative region of China, is the only place on the mainland where gambling and casinos are allowed.

A casino in Macau. Source: Elina Sitnikova on Unsplash

Chinese citizens will be held accountable for cross-border gambling

Gambling by Chinese nationals overseas is also prohibited, due to amendments to China’s laws that officially criminalised cross-border gambling, the statement said.

Illegal cross-border gambling activities have been subjected to severe crackdowns, it added.

This applies even if the overseas casino is legally operated, as Chinese citizens taking part in cross-border gambling are suspected of violating the laws of China.

They will be “held accountable” under the law, especially for those suspected of organised gambling or gambling schemes.

The Embassy added that embassies or consulates may not be able to provide consular protection for illegal gambling activities.

The Chinese Embassy in Singapore. Source: Google Maps

Chinese Embassy in Singapore warns of evils & risks of gambling

The Embassy then used a Chinese idiom, which refers to how 10 out of 10 bets led to cheating or losses, to illustrate the evils of gambling.

Gamblers may be saddled with debts, lose their family wealth or even break up their families, its statement said.

Cross-border gambling runs the risk of fraud, money laundering, kidnapping, detention, trafficking and smuggling, it added.

Chinese citizens urged to report overseas gambling cases

Thus, Chinese nationals are urged to report cases of fellow citizens opening or operating gambling dens overseas.

They also should file a report if they know of Chinese citizens inducing other citizens to gamble.

Source: Google Maps

Reports can be made via an official online platform set up by China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Chinese citizens may also contact the Singapore Police Force, the Embassy in Singapore, or China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for emergencies.

China ‘allows no overseas casinos to entice Chinese nationals into gambling’

Following the Embassy’s statement, news agency Reuters posed a question to China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian.

During a regular press conference on Monday (18 March), he was asked “what stipulates Chinese citizens breaking domestic laws on gambling when they are in another country”.

Mr Lin replied that China’s position on cross-border gambling is “consistent and clear”, saying:

China allows no Chinese capital to be invested in overseas casinos, allows no Chinese nationals to engage in operating overseas casinos, and allows no overseas casinos to entice Chinese nationals into gambling.

China is willing to continue cooperation with other parties to step up the fight against cross-border crimes, he added, to safeguard regional social stability and order and people’s lives and property.

327,000 Chinese nationals visit Singapore in Feburary

In January, Singapore and China signed an agreement to allow their citizens to travel to each others’ countries visa-free and stay for up to 30 days from 9 Feb.

Since then, China has become Singapore’s biggest source of tourists, with almost 327,000 Chinese nationals visiting in February, according to statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board.

This was compared with the 35,000 Chinese visitors who came to the island in February 2023.

It’s unclear whether the tourists went to one or both of Singapore’s two casinos, located in the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.

Both casinos display prominent signs mainly in English and Chinese at their entrances.

Also read: S’pore & China Citizens Can Travel Visa-Free Between Both Countries From 9 Feb

S’pore & China Citizens Can Travel Visa-Free Between Both Countries From 9 Feb

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