Taiwan Tightens the Noose on Online Gaming

Taiwan’s update to its law on online gaming took effect on January 14, 2022. In December 2021, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan amended Article 266 of the Criminal Code. This amendment explicitly makes it a crime to gamble via telecommunications equipment, electronic devices, the Internet, or any other similar method. The penalty for violating this provision was also increased from a maximum criminal fine of TWD 30,000 to a maximum criminal fine of TWD 50,000.

This change was intended to address a previous ambiguity concerning whether online gaming sites that employed restricted access techniques constitute a “public place or a place open to the public,” and thus fall under the Article 266 prohibition on gambling. Taiwan’s Supreme Court had previously upheld the legality of gambling activities that took place on such sites as not “open to the public.” This amendment effectively eliminates that avenue by which gambling websites may find a Taiwan user base.