In 2022, the Payment and Clearing Association of China helped its member organisations block nearly CNY2 billion (US$277 million) worth of payments that were allegedly intended for gambling activities, the body said in its annual report lodged online on Thursday. It didn’t specify types of gambling activity involved.

The association is described as a non-profit entity supervised by the People’s Bank of China. Membership encompasses banks, other financial institutions, financial technology (fintech) companies, and licensed non-banking payment institutions.

“Over 60,000 gambling-related suspicious transactions” were detected in 2022, its report stated.

The association also mentioned that in 2022 it identified “4,292” payment accounts and “54 merchants” said to be involved with gambling activities. It did not elaborate on how they were detected.

A number of government departments in mainland China has, in recent years, issued statements regarding cracking down on citizens travelling overseas for casino play, or having involvement in betting.

China’s amended criminal code outlaws anyone assisting others in such activity. It came into effect from March 1, 2021.

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