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China: new regulations in gambling with serious consequences

Published by

June 9, 2019 11:57 pm

china new regulations

China is following up with even stricter gambling laws. Now also the popular game Mahjong is affected. What are the consequences of the bans?

Gambling is a particularly sensitive topic in Asia, especially China. In probably the most populous country in the world, gambling is strictly forbidden. Casinos in every smaller city like ours in Germany are unthinkable. Ironically, the number of gamblers is quite high. The strict laws serve the protection of their population. So where do all the players live out their passion? Abroad, of course. Asia has the largest gambling market in the world. So the choice is big enough. The best known and most popular destination for game fans in Macau. The former Portuguese colony is the Las Vegas of Asia. The nearly 650,000 inhabitants have a proud $95,000 per capita. In the game stronghold, many tourists cavort daily. Among them are many Chinese, who travel there in the hope of making the big profit, because this is not possible in their own country.

Mahjong: one of the most popular games of chance in China

Gambling is common in China for all generations. While the rich afford a trip to Macau or another Asian country with less strict gambling laws, the seniors meet in the park to play traditionally on the board. A popular game among them: Mahjong. In this game, two cards or tiles with the exact same motif are always sought. If the pictures match, the pair may be removed from the playing field. The board game is so popular that it was released a few years ago in digital form by some online gambling providers. According to estimates, 37 per cent of all online games of chance licensed in China are based on the popular card game.

Innovations in Chinese gambling law

This is particularly fatal now because China has supplemented its gambling laws with new rules. The regulations follow last year’s changes that banned online poker. After that, all apps containing any form of social poker games were removed from the App Store. Now the laws have been further tightened. Games that deal with China’s imperial history or depict blood or death in any way have been banned. Last but not least, the aforementioned Mahjong was also banned. This restriction is particularly fatal since more than a third of all allowed games are based on Mahjong. As a result, some smaller game providers will probably have to leave the market. Other larger gaming companies are reacting to the new legislation with restructuring and orientation.

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