China geared up to get a “blacklist” for foreign tourist destinations luring Chinese travelers for gambling activities

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in China is all geared up to get a “blacklist” bigger in terms of foreign tourist destinations that it says are luring Chinese tourists for gambling activities.

Xinhua, a Chinese state-run news agency is reporting that the Ministry will make a “second batch” of foreign countries that would be added to a list of nations first unveiled in August 2020. That original list was announced first published last year, with the Ministry explaining that such destinations were creating trouble with the nation’s outbound tourism market by opening casinos targeting mainly on Chinese customers. Also, it stated that the destinations were “endangering the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens.”

As by name China has not confirmed any destination alleged to be on a blacklist, analysts had advised that it was probably pinpointing to emerging Southeast Asian gaming destinations like the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam, and potentially Australia.

As per Xinhua, the Ministry “in conjunction with relevant departments” will make a list of the second batch of foreign places that attract tourists from China for gambling activities, which will be subsequently “added to the system.”

“In order to better regulate the tourism market and safeguard the lives and property of Chinese citizens, the blacklist system was established through concerted efforts of multiple departments, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security,” Xinhua’s report says.

“Travel restrictions will be imposed on Chinese citizens heading to overseas cities and scenic areas on the list.”

2020’s establishment of the original blacklist created tremendous debate. As some analysts have shown evidence telling Macau is certainly in mainland China’s crosshairs, others stated at the time that the SAR could in fact make an advantage from such a crackdown on other potential gambling destinations.

“In the long term, this move could be seen as ‘ring-fencing’ gambling demand/flow within China, which in turn could drive repatriation of demand to Macau,” said JP Morgan.

“In the near term, it’s inevitable we will see some dent in the pace of VIP recovery given potential collateral damage – junkets/agents who bring players to non-Macau markets are the same ones as those in Macau, and they will most likely keep a low profile for now to avoid any fallout from the clampdown.”

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