In the months leading up to the 2010 World Cup, China instituted a crackdown on gamblers that was unprecedented in scale and intensity (perhaps because World Cup betting was the only thing that so far has been able to put a dent in Macau’s earning ability). However, since the sporting event’s conclusion, online gambling sources in Asia are reporting that the Chinese authorities appear to have eased up on the throttle.
Chinese-facing online gambling sites that were being actively blocked by the authorities’ cyber squads are now finding that they have ready access to Chinese punters, and media outlets that had dropped online gaming advertising like a hot dumpling are now signaling their willingness to once again run ads for these same companies. All in all, companies dealing with customers in China and other Asian countries are once again looking to the year ahead with renewed optimism.
While this turnaround is good news for the industry, it comes as little consolation to the bookies and punters who were caught up in the Chinese dragnet — such as the man who helped a bunch of high-rollers lay out the equivalent of $7.5M on the international footie matches. Here’s hoping these guys will be free – and the Chinese authorities will have come to their senses re the futility of prohibition – by the time the action kicks off in Brazil in 2014. Read more.