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Stakes high for online gambling as Xi meets Duterte

Explosive growth triggers Chinese crackdown

Philippine central bank governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters Wednesday that officials are bracing for the possible end of online gaming. (Photo by Manda Yeung)

HONG KONG/MANILA -- Online gambling operators and auxiliary businesses will be watching closely as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte meets his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday.

China-focused online gambling has become a powerful economic driver in both Manila and the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville, despite the two national governments ranking among China's closest regional allies, where gambling has long been banned.

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