For two thousand years Chinese governments struggled to isolate their citizens from outside influences that were considered harmful and corrupt. Long ago, Chinese emperors built the Great Wall of China and today’s rulers are trying to build the Great Firewall of China to censor internet gambling websites. China, with over 450 million internet users is fighting a losing uphill battle. Despite analyzing seven hundred and eighty five million websites, shutting down 60,000, including 150 online casinos, and convicting 4965 internet users, there are more Chinese internet gambling websites than in the previous year.
According to strict Chinese gambling laws, anyone affiliated with, profiting from or operating an online gambling website faces from 3-10 years in prison. Dr. Hu Xingdou, economics professor at the University of Beijing believes that strict laws will have little effect in curtailing Chinese online gambling. In a recent interview he stated that the Chinese people are the biggest gamblers in the world. Thousands of years under an imperial system that tried to keep people down led to a mentality of trying to become super-rich overnight, preferably without hard work at a Chinese internet casino.
Chinese government is taking Internet security issues very seriously, censoring all activities outside its control. Besides the two governments controlled lotteries, all forms of gambling is illegal in mainland China. Curiously, betting on horse races is perfectly legal in Hong Kong, and Macau recently surpassed Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world. Such legislative imbalance within the same country shows the internal struggle between isolationist communist hardliners and free market oriented reformers.