Online Gambling Chinese Bureaucrat's Entertainment

Published Saturday, June 27, 2009 -

Asia Times Online contributor Stephen Wong published an article recently suggesting that government employees and officials are turning to gambling online as result of recent restrictions.

Wong's report said, "While longer jail terms and the risk of losing their jobs fail to deter officials from gambling, visa restrictions to Macau - the most popular gambling destination for Chinese officials - has only driven officials to online casinos,"

Beijing's attempts to stem gambling with public funds by Communist Party officials and government bureaucrats seem to have made little headway noted the online publication. Mr.Wong goes on to explain his assumptions by siting a few examples. Government officials and leaders of state-owned firms were those arrested for Internet gambling on sports, horse races and lotteries in six online casinos recently.

Wong exposes how the political leaders of China have created many campaigns against gambling bureaucrats in an effort to curb the corruption which is eroding the public trust in the government. A quote from the article said, "A 2008 study of 99 high rollers from mainland China showed that 59 had some sort of state affiliation: 33 were government officials, 19 were senior managers at state-owned enterprises and seven were cashiers at state businesses, according to the study, which was conducted by Zeng Zhonglu, a professor at Macau Polytechnic Institute,"

The author went on to say, "This prompted the government to impose visa restrictions on government officials last year. The new regulations limit a mainland official to only a single, seven-day trip in at least three months."

China's lawmakers are doing what they can to make it harder for these officials to gamble with public money unchecked. Some are proposing much harsher penalties for those caught. Stephen Wong thinks this will do little to stop old habits. "To curb gambling and gambling-linked corruption, China needs a free press and an independent judicial system to expose the wrongdoing of public officials. While heavy handed campaigns can curb gambling for a while, to root out gambling and corruption by officials, Beijing needs political reforms." the article concluded.

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