Beijing's crackdown on capital flight could be about to extend to Singapore amid concerns that large sums of money may have been funneled out of the mainland in violation of China's strict currency controls through casinos in the city state.
As the nation battles to plug holes in a system which is seeing billions haemorrhage from a slowing economy at a time of unprecedented global uncertainty, a potential misuse of the China UnionPay banking network at casinos in Singapore could be contributing significantly to capital flight.
The concerns centre on a casino "resort entertainment" voucher program which gives UnionPay card holders access to gaming chips – a purchase which a top official at the People's Bank of China has told the South China Morning Post is outlawed.
When told of the program by the Post, Xie Zhong, the director of the payment settlement department at the central bank in Beijing, said: "China UnionPay's bank cards should certainly not be used in casinos."
The bank oversees the operation of China UnionPay.
The city state's gaming watchdog, the Singapore Casino Regulatory Authority, declined to comment despite being asked three times to do so by the Post.