October 15, 2009 -
The concept of banning things is not a new one in China.
Heck, nor is it a new one in the U.S. for that matter. But,
in the U.S., at least the possibility that such a ban can
potentially be overturned (cough, cough...UIGEA) exists. In
China, when there's a ban, it usually stays that way. So,
now that China has officially banned all foreign investment
into their booming video gaming market, well then, it's
probably going to stay that way. Boy, am I smart or what? Ya,
I know, or what.
If you're wondering what this means for online
gambling, it pretty much means nothing, because well,
besides the fact that online gambling really isn't that
similar to online gaming anyways (yet people continue to
put online gambling in the same category as online
gaming because gambling is such a nasty word), online
gambling is already banned in China.
Alright, so now you're wondering (don't you love how
I just assume that you are wondering...let alone that
someone is actually even reading my blog), how on Earth
have all these big online gambling software
giants, like Playtech and Bwin, been expanding into
China. Well, I suppose we need to take a closer look at
what "expanding into China" really means.
For both companies, moving into what is not even a
fully "liberalized" online gambling industry even, means
teaming up with China companies to provide technology
services, management consulting, and here's the real
kicker - cold cash investments. The ban on video
gaming does indeed also ban any type of foreign
technology support, joint ventures and cooperatives of
any kind. In other words, foreign companies can't earn a
dime off of video gaming in China.
The same goes for online gambling. But then again,
Playtech definitely has some ties in China. But if you
look at Playtech's website, they only mention Italy as a
new market. Pretty soon you can expect to see France
there as well. So, even if Playtech does have some
partnerships in China, my guess is that they won't last,
and that China is serious about keeping foreigners on
October, 2009 | Categories: