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.
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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:
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.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.