China and Its Growing Online Casino Industry
China is the second-largest gaming market in the world, and it is getting more substantial because of the country's current situation. Today, we will talk about the growing online casino industry of China and how it is dealt with by the government and its people.
China’s Game Switching
Because of China's current situation during the COVID pandemic, many of its gamblers turned to online casinos for entertainment. During China's lockdown, popular online Chinese games became one of the most-streamed online, raging to over 60 million streams over the streaming platform, Douyu.
While China poses next to the US for being the second-largest gaming industry, it recorded a $36.5 million gaming revenue in 2019. According to the market research of Newzoo, within this year, China will become the most prominent gaming central worldwide.
Laws Concerning Gambling
The continuous increase of the gaming market in China created some stir to the laws governing the industry. The regulations became more complicated and often change because of many oversights in the gambling industry.
China’s 2018 legislation governs the gaming industry and covers the approval of games operated only by Chinese citizens. The state regulators review and approve the game’s content. After approval, they will then give the license to operate as a company in China. However, there are prohibitions for the license. The operators must not have any sexual content and extreme violence on their site.
The Central Propaganda Department was the first government agency that regulates online games. However, in 2018, the responsibility turned to the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT). The Ministry of Culture also took part in it. The Central Committee later noticed that the new licensing agencies approved too many games per month, accounting for an average of 641 games. From there on, the committee gave the responsibility back to the new Propaganda Department, which then licensed at least 130 games monthly.
Aside from being a legal operator, game developers need to get enlisted in China's App stores. Starting in July 2020, the operators are required to have an ISBN so that they can enlist their games in China's App Stores. To get the ISBN, the operators must have their game approved by several agencies like the SARFT.
Effects of Gaming in Children
China's recent strict laws on youth gaming emphasized the limited exposure of children to video games and age restrictions. In 2018, the Ministry of Education released the guidelines on the age limit and the playtimes of video games. According to the Ministry, the guidelines were set to prevent or avoid gaming addiction and poor health among the youth.