China Uses Article 303 to Crack Down on Land-Based and Online Gambling

China continues its crackdown on gambling both online and off, and it seems to be upping the ante. Using the existing Article 303, the judicial system is interpreting the laws with a much stricter approach.

Given the new interpretations, anyone who organizes three or more people and receives payments of 5000 yuan (about $600 US), or is involved in a game in which overall stakes are over 50,000 yuan (about $6000 US) is guilty of organized gambling and can be sentenced to up to three years in prison, in addition to getting pinned with hefty fines.

Moreover, organizing a trip of 10 or more Chinese citizens for the purpose of gambling constitutes a criminal offense if the organizer receives a commission.

Internet gambling operators will be penalized as casino owners. Anyone who gives technical support to online gambling sites is considered an accomplice and can also be prosecuted. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has been given the authority to crack down on gambling by preventing credit card and wire transfers to internet gambling sites.

Chinese officials said that penalties will be especially harsh to civil servants running any type of gambling, as well as to operators who cater to civil servants or minors. - 2005-05-20 10:26:07

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