The Chinese authorities have adopted a new approach to prevent locals from traveling to neighboring countries for gambling purposes. According to China officials, local authorities have resorted to using Big Data to restrict Chinese residents’ access to cross-border gambling.
The term “Big Data” is used to denote large volumes of complex and versatile data that is next to impossible to process or analyze by implementing conventional methods. Big Data relies on the fact that smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and other similar devices inevitably leave digital footprints while people are using them. Analyzing this data makes it possible to gain valuable insights into individuals’ interests, habits, and movements.
The technology has practical implications in many fields, apart from the detection of potential gamblers. For one, it is commonly used by businesses worldwide to improve their operations and tailor their services to customers’ needs. Big data also has a valuable use in the field of medicine since it assists doctors in diagnosing patients’ ailments, based on information derived from digital health records and social media profiles.
Suspected Violators Will be Denied Crossing the Border
China’s government will also rely on this technology to pursue offshore gambling firms that target and service Chinese nationals. The approach involves inspecting enormous sets of data computationally to identify patterns or trends in people’s behavior.
During a recent press briefing, Ms. Ji Lixia, who works as a Deputy Director of the Immigration Inspection in Beijing, explained this technology enables local authorities to detect prospective gamblers at the border. Respectively, such individuals face sanctions and will be denied crossing the border. Deputy Director Ji Lixia was perfectly clear on this matter, stating that residents who attempt to break the Chinese law will not be granted visas.
The Chinese legislation strictly prohibits all forms of gambling, the only exceptions being the state-owned lotteries. Commercial gambling is legal and regulated only in the Macau Special Administrative Region, which was previously a Portuguese colony. Other common destinations for gaming tourism among the locals include Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
This is Not the First Restrictive Measure on behalf of China’s Authorities
This is hardly the first attempt of the Chinese government to hinder unauthorized gambling on behalf of the locals. As CasinoGamesPro reported earlier this summer, the authorities launched a snitch online platform that enables citizens to report individuals who are thought to engage in offshore gambling activities.
Launched by China’s Ministry of Public Health, the website can also be used to file complaints about other offenses related to cross-border gambling, including frauds, human exploitation and trafficking, money laundering, and forceful detainment.
Another example of the Chinese authorities’ commitment to eradicating unlawful gambling occurred just last month. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced it was to ban nationals from traveling to certain countries with legal gambling whose casino operators may target customers from mainland China.
The Ministry has not disclosed any names for the time being but industry experts and analysts assume some of the prohibited destinations would include Cambodia, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and South Korea.
The Macau Special Administrative Region is unlikely to make it on the blacklist because it is an autonomous area. As such, it has separate gambling laws and regulations. Additionally, the gambling operators from this region are not in the habit of targeting clients from mainland China.