WeChat Gambling Organisers Beware

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 6, 2019

China ready to dish out severe penalties for illegal gambling ring organisers on social media

In a press briefing last week, deputy director of the Research Office of China’s Supreme People’s Court, Zhou Jiahai issued a public statement on five “guiding” cybercrime cases saying the perpetrators would be severely punished in accordance with the law and warning “cyberspace is not an “out-of-law place”.

The highlighted cases would form a precedent in terms of law, General Secretary, Xi Jinping pointed out.

Of the five guiding cases, one involves a topic InfoPowa has published numerous reports on, that of the organisation of casual online gambling rings on WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent.

Guiding Case No. 106 “Xie Jianjun, Gao Lei, Gao Erzhen, Yang Zebin to open a casino case” expects to clarify the purpose of making profits, inviting people to join a WeChat group to attract gamblers, and using WeChat groups for control management, according to a set of gambling rules, in the form of red packets. Clarifying Article 303 of the Criminal Law, Xi Jinping said: “… to continue to organize online gambling activities for a period of time, is akin to opening a casino.”

“In recent years, the use of WeChat groups to open casinos in the form of red envelopes is not uncommon, and the harm is serious. The publication of this case will not only guide the judicial organisations to handle similar cases in accordance with the law, but also educate and guide the public to abide by the law.”

China’s Supreme People’s Court issued its first batch of guiding cases in December 2011 and has since issued 20 batches of 106 guiding cases covering a range of issues from Insurance to administrative expropriation. Guiding cases have, in recent years, become an important part of China’s socialist judicial system.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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