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China – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
China has a long history of gambling – in fact, some of the earliest evidence of humans betting or wagering comes from this beautiful land, with 14-sided dice being found in a 2,300-year-old tomb close to Qingzhou City. However, with the Chinese Communist Party being in power since 1921, gambling is now illegal within the country. That doesn’t stop people from playing at online casinos or visiting the autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau to get their casino hit. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be covering how people play online in China and more – however, do note that this will be at your own risk because of the legal status of gambling in the country.
No online casino is allowed to have servers based in mainland China, as you would expect, so playing from within the country will involve finding a site located in other parts of the world. There are plenty of options to explore, some of which are even localized for the Chinese market (more on this later). Therefore, to find the best online casinos in China, you should begin by reading the casino reviews written by GoodLuckMate’s slots and table games enthusiasts.
From there, you will need to weigh up the pros and cons of each brand. Things like if your preferred payment method can be used for deposits and withdrawals, if the site is translated into various Chinese dialects, whether you can speak to a member of the customer support team in your own language, and so on. And, of course, you can also check if a welcome bonus is available. All of this and more is covered in our expert reviews.
If you want to sign up at an online casino from China, you should do the following beforehand:
- Read all the appropriate GoodLuckMate reviews
- Check that your payment method is available
- See if the site allows the use of Chinese renminbi
- Ensure that the site is available in Simplified Chinese
- Read through all terms and conditions before sign up
Once you’ve considered all of the above and you’re happy to proceed, click on the GoodLuckMate welcome bonus banners from the reviews page to get the best offers.
With gambling being illegal within mainland China, there is no regulatory body that exists like in other countries. Therefore, while it is possible to find gambling establishments within China itself, we wouldn’t advise that you go to these places because laws in the country are strictly enforced. Instead, it is possible to play casino games, such as slots, roulette, blackjack, the ancient Chinese game of sic bo (known as hi-lo or dai sai), and more, or to bet on sporting events, via sites based elsewhere – again, this will be done at your own risk. This means that any places at which you decide to play online will be controlled by foreign regulatory bodies.
One quirk in the Chinese system of regulating gambling activities is the allowing of two nationwide lotteries known as the China Sports Lottery and the Welfare Lottery. These, like most things in the country, are officially state-owned and are encouraged by the government, which has ruled that playing lotteries is not a form of gambling and therefore can exist happily.
With around 1.4 billion people living within China and a well-known enthusiasm for gambling over the years, you can expect to find plenty of brands that want to establish a presence there. Because of this, many sites that have an interest in targeting the Southeast Asian market will have Simplified Chinese as a language option for the entire site – simply click on the language selector to change it from English or another default language. Additionally, you will find that such globally-focused sites tend to offer Japanese, as well as English, Spanish and more.
While a few sites will show bonuses, promotions and offers in the renminbi currency, the illegal status of gambling means others may shy away from this and offer the US Dollar, New Taiwan Dollar or Hong Kong Dollar instead. That doesn’t mean that you can’t play there from mainland China if you're careful, but you should expect to exchange money from one currency to another to be able to play – it would be wise to use a third-party eWallet in such instances.
As we pointed out above, the legal status of gambling strictly prohibits the setting up of online gambling sites within the country, with the same being true for land-based casino establishments, sports betting shops and slots parlors. However, with the special administrative region of Macau being dubbed the Las Vegas of Southeast Asia, you will find plenty of high-class gambling resorts there. The same is true of Hong Kong, which has a similar status of being largely self-governing, with separate laws than apply on the mainland. So, for the best casino and sports betting action in China, be sure to book a flight to Macau or Hong Kong.