Judicial interpretations related to Article 303 of China's Criminal Law, go into effect Friday, aiming to further specify the scope of gambling crimes and give more severe punishment to officials involved in gambling.
The judicial interpretations were jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Thursday.
The Article 303 of the Criminal Law says that whoever, for the purpose of reaping profits, assembles a crowd to engage in gambling, opens a gambling house or makes an occupation of gambling is to be sentenced to not more than three years of fixed- term imprisonment, criminal detention or control, in addition to a fine.
The judicial interpretations specifies "assembling a crowd to engage in gambling" as the following: assembling three or more persons to engage in gambling and reaping commission of 5,000 yuan or more; assembling three or more persons to engage in gambling and the gambling money accumulating to more than 50,000 yuan; or organizing more than 10 Chinese citizens to go overseas for gambling and asking commission.
The interpretations says that whoever, for the purpose of reaping profits, sets up gambling websites on the Internet or acts as an on-line gambling agent will be regarded as "opening gambling houses" and will be punished according to the Article 303 of the Criminal Law.
They say that Chinese citizens who set up casinos at the neighboring areas of China and attract Chinese crowds to engage in gambling will be considered to have criminal responsibilities.
They say whoever knowingly offers capital or Internet services and telecommunications facilities to gambling participants or organizers, will be regarded as accomplice of gambling criminals.
They also say that especially severe punishment will be given in three circumstances: the gambling participants being civil servants; organizing civil servants to participate in gambling overseas; and organizing juveniles to engage in gambling.
An officer with the Supreme People's Court said the new judicial interpretations also intensify the efforts of fining the criminals to deprive them of capital for further gambling.
The interpretations also stipulate that anyone taking bribes to officials through gambling will be regarded as committing bribery crime and will be punished according to the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law.
The National Coordinating Office to Strike at Illegal Gambling revealed that the Ministry of Public Security would unite telecom departments, the China Banking Regulatory Commission and other departments to strengthen the supervision and control of online gambling sites and prohibit funds and assets from being sent to gambling websites through credit cards or bank account transfer.
Meanwhile, to solve the problem of gathering sufficient admissible evidence of illegal online gambling, a judicial expertise center specializing in appraising electronic data will be founded and the appraisal results from the center will be regarded as admissible evidence and legally valid.