Published on November 9, 2015 in Industry News

China online gambling lawsThe online casino industry is a billion-dollar business that grows and changes constantly. One of biggest markets in the world that remains untapped with regards to gambling is China and other Asian jurisdictions.

There are only two government-sanctioned lotteries in China and both are run entirely by the government, but also very profitable. The first is the China Sports Lottery which was launched in 1994 and the second is the second is the China Welfare Lottery, launched in 1997. Both of these lotteries are very profitable and they provided 75% of the funds used for Chinese social welfare programs and the creation of new sports centers around the country.

Underground casinos in China

It is estimated that the revenue generated by China’s ‘underground’ casinos are up to 20 times more than those generated by the legal lotteries. This is despite the fact that all other forms of gambling are illegal and fines or imprisonment could be the outcome if anyone is caught partaking or running these organisations.

Much of China’s internet usage is restricted, especially access to online gambling sites outside of the country. The government even blocks the access to these international sites at a search engine level in an attempt to prevent the Chinese population from gambling illegally. Despite all of the restrictions, many international casinos accept and cater to Chinese players. The government does also not consider lotteries a form of gambling and all forms of illegal gambling is quite common throughout the country.

FIFA betting

Recently, the people of China were granted the ability to bet on the FIFA World Cup series online. The changes are a sign that the Chinese government may be reconsidering gambling activities and this could lead to further lifting of restrictions in the future. This could be due to the fact that more than 500 million people have access to services such as online gambling via their mobile phones. Huang Guihai, associate professor at the Gaming Teaching and Research Centre at the Macao Polytechnic Institute said, "The law is quite strict in China, but gaming opportunities are very accessible to anyone who has a smart phone.”