Taiwan moves to close igaming legal loophole

20 September 2019

The Taiwanese Ministry of Justice has proposed an amendment to its legal code that would criminalise online gambling, which it describes as the cause of "social and family problems" in the country.

According to the ministry, the amendment to Articles 266 and 270 of Taiwan's Criminal Code will, “add criminal liability for gambling with use of telecommunications equipment, electronic communications, the internet or other similar means".

This, in turn, will also see new penalties introduced, including a NT$1,000 (£25.9/€29.3/$32.3) fine for anyone found to be gambling online, with any equipment used to do so to be confiscated.

While gambling “in a public place, or a place open to the public” has been against the law in Taiwan since 1994, as has operating gambling facilities, there are currently no laws in place in the country relating to online gambling, something the Ministry described as a “loophole.”

It said that as a result of widespread use of technology and the internet, any indivdual with the right equipment could easily access gambling - something it said had a negative impact on Taiwanese society, leading to a growing prevalence on gambling addiction.

“In the long run, players may only want to make money by gambling, so they will not contribute to society and will corrupt the social atmosphere,” it warned.

The draft amendment must be put to the country's legislature, which has to ratify the proposal for it to be brought into effect.