Which bookmakers are trusted and where to place bets in China?
Which bookmaker offers the best conditions to its Chinese players and where to safely bet while residing in China? Check out our overview of this country’s gambling industry and learn more about the most reputable bookmakers that currently operate on the market.
What is the state of Online Betting in China
China’s current relative levels of wealth and success result directly from a series of economic reforms starting 25 years ago, which brought on a relaxation of outdated, oppressive communist principles. These pioneering reforms saw China develop from a fully state-planned and dominated socialist economy to a diversified market socialist economy, turning it into one of the world’s most powerful, rapidly growing economies.
The country’s financial successes changed the plight of its various peoples due to a national average income that doubled every eight years over the past two decades. China also became one of the early adopters of the internet, making its first intermittent appearances from 1989 and finally assuming a permanent position on the internet of all things on the 20th of April 1994. In 2008 China distinguished itself technologically, measured by population totals it became the world’s largest internet using community, a position it maintains to this day with an approximate total 700 million users as of March 2017.
Widespread, easy internet access combined with the dramatic increase in expendable household incomes soon had residents exploring more intensively for additional forms of entertainment. Some resonated particularly powerfully with the Chinese populace, especially online varieties such as sportsbetting and casino gaming with top bookmakers presently generating annual revenues in the multiple tens of billions.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
The renminbi, (ISO coded as RMB or indicated as ¥) literally means “the people’s currency” also commonly known as the “yuan”, serves as the official currency for the People’s Republic of China.
At mid-year 2019 UN data estimates pegged China’s population total at 1,435,162,260 residents, which still excludes people living in Macau and Hong Kong, ranking it as the most populous country in the world. This equates to 18.9% of the world’s population total, with over 59% of the country’s residents currently living in urban areas.
With the state officially having severe restrictions on all forms of gambling in place, determining any meaningful figures regarding the demographic statistics of illicit local and offshore online gambling remains nigh on impossible. However, since 2016, tourists from Mainland China visiting the Philippines in their search for casinos and sportsbooks doubled to surpass 1.2 million. Furthermore, according to published 2019 estimates from Economic Information Daily, residents of Mainland China annually spend over US$145 billion online at offshore gambling venues.
Due to the legal restrictions on onshore gambling operations within its borders, the Chinese state instituted no formal regulatory body to oversee gambling activities. However, Macau and Hong Kong two of its special administrative regions legalised a variety of gambling activities to some degree or another.
In Macau, the main government unit tasked with the oversight of local gambling operations and officially known as The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, which assumes responsibility for regulating all aspects of gambling activities in the country. Law 16/2001, commonly known as Macau Gaming law, serves to assist the GICB with regulating gambling activities.
Enacted during 1977, The Gambling Ordnance still serves as the main piece of legislation to regulate gambling in Hong Kong under the direct control of the state, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club holding a government-sanctioned monopoly on lotteries, football events, and horse racing.
Licensed gambling products
The state-run national Welfare Lottery and the Sports Lottery remains Mainland China’s only two legally recognised gambling entities. In contrast, Macau by way of Law 16/2001 and its numerous ordnances offers the following gambling products:
The fairly constrained Hong Kong Gambling Ordinance of 1977 legalises the following gambling products:
Types of operators
Mainland China allows no onshore gambling operations, with Hong Kong only allowing the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Macau represents a different kettle of fish, clearly differentiated its freedom by becoming known the Monte Carlo of the Orient. The region’s legal system allows for just about all types of gambling operations including land-based and online varieties of lottery, western-style casinos, bingo halls, and bookmaking.
In the wake of the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China (CPC) rose to power by 1949 as the country’s sole ruling political party. The then-new government promptly enacted the country’s most recent ban on all forms of gambling in the country, all forms that are aside from the two state-sanctioned & run lotteries which it does not legally consider a form of gambling.
As in many previous instances in the country’s long recorded history, this latest gambling ban has however not prevented its residents from attempting to find alternative avenues as a newfound source of gambling entertainment. After all, a huge variety of gambling activities pervaded all socio-economic Chinese culture virtually since the very dawn of the modern age of civilisation. Once again history seems to be repeating itself, with the Chinese state currently facing the daunting task of attempting to halt its residents from continuing to enthusiastically contribute to the country’s US$145 billion illicit online gambling industry.
China, in its endeavour to prevent residents from engaging in activities the state deems as unfit or corruptive, employed it state ownership of all ten online access routes to create one of the world’s most constrained internet societies by blocking access to and censoring numerous western internet services such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter together with a host of others to effectively prevent these online industry giants from entering the country.
This, in turn, led to the state’s current conundrum where it faces an online invasion from gambling venues specifically targeting Chinese nationals residing in mainland China while operating through offshore locations in Macau and Cambodia. With the list of online betting sites in China continually growing the Chinese government recently lashed out at the aforementioned governments in an attempt to counter the outflow of Billions of Yuan to offshore gambling establishments each year.
Due to a blanket ban instituted on all forms of gambling in the country by the ruling Communist Party of China most morally responsible online gambling venues choosing to operate within regulated regions impose severe a restriction on the issuing of memberships to Chinese Mainland nationals. However, numerous online gambling operators based in East Asian countries continue to accept business from residents of Mainland China with said members employing various avenues opened by modern technology to fund and engage in gambling activities at these venues.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
For Chinese nationals to successfully navigate and bypass the restrictions imposed by the state and find a reliable online betting partner and the best online casinos, they need to apply and adhere to a few simple considerations. These principles will assist in preventing exposing themselves to potentially exploitative online operators.
- ensure their number of shortlisted gambling venues hold a validly issued operators licence allowing them to conduct their business legally within the region they operate from
- check online forums to establish each venue’s credibility for creating safe, and secure environment and operating according to a trustworthy, fair, set of rules
- ascertain the quality of their customer services such as a Live Chat feature combined with the availability of essential betting products like a Live Betting product that offers live streaming event feeds, Cash-out options, bet editor, bet builder allowing them to remain functioning at their optimal peak
- perform price comparisons and the odds each offer to ensure it is in line with the industry expected standards
- ensure the venues in question offer a convenient number of suitable banking methods
Leading Online Bookmakers in China
While Mainland China itself bans all forms of gambling, its two nearby special administrative regions have for decades legalised and regulated many types of gambling. This caused an influx of new betting sites into these regions, all ready and willing to accept and serve online clients from Mainland China. In our discussion below, we highlight some of the best options open to residents from Mainland China.
Entering the online arena in Russia during early 2017, 22Bet soon distinguished itself as a serious, impressive new online sportsbook determined on establishing a name included amongst the world’s group of premier branded online bookmakers. It stands testimony to the high levels of excellence possible for an online bookmaker to accomplish within record time via focused, hard work. As a result, this young bookmaker was soon expanding its already sizable footprint into the rest of Europe by offering excellent prices and highly competitive odds while offering an excellent sportsbook product which is supported with strong standards of customer service.
Another bookmaker with its origins in Russia, 1xBet, despite being a recent entry into the online gambling arena, clearly benefits from years of experience which company gained from owning over 1000 betting shops distributed throughout Russia in the land-based sector. With the launch of its online sportsbook and casino, the brand expanded into a number of Western and Central European countries including Portugal and Germany where it added a large number of loyal players to its member base.
The British company Bet365 first opened its virtual doors in Stoke on Trent while running from a portacabin. The new online sportsbook went through its development phase under the watchful eye and hands-on approach of its founding owner and soon reached hard to match levels of success during 2013 a period where bookmakers laboured hard to show a profit in the UK. It also innovated several concepts currently found amongst most leading online bookmakers such as an editable bet slip to name one of the many.
Bonuses for Chinese Players
Leading East Asian online sportsbooks, after having the foresight and gone to the expense and trouble of closing sponsorship deals with major clubs in the EPL, are highly likely to ensure they offer the maximum bonuses to its member base. As such China’s online gambling community have a massive variety of bonus products to choose from offered to them by several of the online gambling industry’s leading entertainment service retailers. These include bonus offers ranging from 30% to 100% to free bets based on the value of the first deposit.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in China
With a population attracted to gambling in its various online formats, they are quite prepared to ignore and defy the countries restrictive state laws completely. China’s most preferred types of online sports include Football, Basketball, and eSports as the most bet on sports types, followed by sports such as Martial Arts, Tennis, Table Tennis, and Golf also seeing massive support.
Are Online Casinos Popular in China?
Philippine operators see individuals wagering tens of thousands of dollars per hand, with some loss in excess of US$300,000 in less than a week. Macau similarly relates with statistics revealing that gambling tourism contributes up to 50% of the island nation’s economy, with visitors consisting mostly of nationals from Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Trivia/Did you know that…
- Despite the recent re-incorporation of Hong Kong and Macau into China gambling remains a legally regulated activity in both regions
- By 2007 Macau established itself as a world gambling mecca when it overtook the Las Vegas Strip in measured gaming revenues
- Mainland China residents annually wager over one trillion yuan or US$145 billion at online gambling venues, which equates to twice the annual turnover of its state-sanctioned lotteries
- Since 2016 an estimated figure surpassing 100,000 Chinese mainland nationals relocated to Manila to seek employment as IT engineers, tech supports specialists, and marketing agents with the numerous online gambling operators to serve their Mandarin-speaking client base
- The Hong Kong Jockey Club generates the largest horse race related gambling revenue in the world, in 2016 – 2017 racking up a seasonal revenue of HK$216.5 billion
Available Mobile Apps
In addition to their excellent mobile portal, 22Bet, 1xBet, and Bet365 all individually developed a beautiful pair dedicated apps to provide both their Android and iPhone-based members with service of the highest order and maximum levels of customer convenience. The apps irrespective of the preferred brand offer flawless operation via uniquely branded interfaces aiming to deliver the ultimate in sportsbetting and casino gaming user-experiences.
Each mobile access solution offers the complete range of sports found on their full desktop sites via a user-friendly custom interface optimised to make the best use of the limited interface offered by mobiles and maximising the touch screen functionality for added intuitive controls. Each features the full range of betting markets and offer the same betting tools on offer on its parent site.
Supported Payment Methods
The online entertainment brands discussed in the above article offer a hard to match number of banking methods. Each brand provides various banking brands that include the full range of payment methods from indirect payment such as PayPal to credit/debit cards from Mastercard and Visa, or e-Wallets, Bank Transfers and several alternative electronic payment systems.
China imposes no form of taxation on gambling incomes simply because it considers all form of gambling, online or otherwise illegal.
Why would an online bookmaker reward a new player by handing them Free Bets?
Due to a complete lack of market exposure, it is a widely recognised manner that online entertainment providers use to increase their levels of attraction with the hopes of attracting new members to sign up.
Why does an online sportsbook impose a rollover requirement on their bonus funds?
It protects online sportsbooks against potential abuse by that intent on taking advantage of the bookmaker through its bonuses. However, it still allows new members to increase their wagering budget at no extra cost while encouraging them to play and get to know the site better.
How can I be certain a bonus offer will deliver real value to my betting session?
It is choice that each bettor must determine for him or herself, taking into consideration the value of the bonus against the relative needed to redeem the bonus.
Will an online sportsbook allow my wife to fund her account using my credit card?
Depending on the legalities of the region wherein they operate some will while others may not, however as a rule of thumb most online sportsbooks will at best frown on any such activities.
Must I continue to use only the one payment method indicated during registration or to transact the first deposit?
No, you may use any number of the options they make available, with the understanding they will return all funds via the same method into the same account.
How can I determine which online sportsbook offers the best odds?
Making any such determination requires in-depth knowledge of each provider as well as the industry. However, we yet still remain entirely subjective due to the nature of football as a game as well as the changing performances and standings of each club at that point in time.
Can I play casino slots at any of these sportsbooks?
While many online sportsbooks currently include slots gaming in their entertainment repertoire no guarantee exists for a sportsbook to include slots as part of their gaming arsenal.
The Chinese state offers its people the technological advantages provided by a national internet yet refuses to grant them a fundamental right by attempting to remove the choice and responsibility for determining their own types of preferred entertainment. As a result, the two parties face an uphill battle where the people will in all probability as is evident the world over in all such recent instances eventually win. In the intervening period the state will create a potentially toxic situation where law-abiding citizens stand a relatively minor chance of falling foul of its legal system and in the process the state will annually spend millions of unnecessary dollars in support of combating a perceived crime that diametrically opposes the will of its peoples in a country calling itself a republic of the people.