Despite many forms of gambling being illegal for a long time in China, if we include Hong Kong and Macau, China is the top country in the world when it comes to gambling revenue. That is, China makes more money from people gambling than any other country on the planet. This means some of the best online casinos, in terms of revenue, and by extension, by the possible amounts of winnings, are based in China, or are at least trying to target this huge market one way or another.
1. Gambling in China
When looking at the current situation of gambling in China, the best place to start is the official law and under Article 303 of the 1997 revision of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the gambling law is as follows:
“Whoever, for the purpose of profit, gathers people to engage in gambling, runs a gambling house or makes gambling his profession shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance and shall also be fined”
Despite this, some games of luck and betting is still allowed in China including sports betting and lotteries, including online versions for both these categories, which are not exactly considered gambling. It's interesting that given the above that betting on China’s oldest games, like Mah-jong, is still not allowed.
2. Online Gambling in China
Online gambling in China follows the same rules as gambling in a street shop and rules of traditional gambling still apply. Therefore, it is illegal to operate online gambling sites in the country or to provide gambling services in China.
Some internet service providers will even block foreign gambling websites to stop Chinese people accessing them and placing bets.
However, online gambling remains a huge business in China and some online gambling websites are happy to welcome Chinese players and will even offer them support in Chinese, thus encouraging them to join the gambling site.
We do not recommend trying to place bets at online casinos in China, even if you are just visiting the country. Still there are many people risking gambling at online casinos in china even as we speak, in 2023 the market is actually expected to grow considerably. There are several online casinos which aren't based in China (meaning no penalties for gambling there), that welcome players from China. Let's see some examples.
3. Online Casino Available in China? Definitely 1XBET
As mentioned above, there are several online gambling sites happy to accept players from China. One of them is 1xBet.
1xBet was established in 2011 and have a great following in Eastern Europe while also expanding into Asia. Despite being a relative newcomer to the online gambling word, 1xBet have made great strides and have opened over 1,000 betting shops in Russia alone.
There are a great range of deposit and withdrawal methods at 1xBet and when using eWallets such as Neteller and Skrill, withdrawals usually take place within a maximum of 15 minutes.
While offering a great selection of sports betting markets at very good odds, 1xBet has a large online casino where you can enjoy live casino games from Evolution Gaming slots and other top providers in the industry including Netent, Microgaming and Play ‘n’ Go.
You can also play the traditional casino games including Baccarat, Poker and Roulette and use the live casino, with real dealers.
At the time of writing, 1xBet offer a 100% betting bonus up to €130.
Bodog88 was launched in 2009 and is an Asian specific brand of the Bodog gambling company. They remain one of the few online gambling sites to cater for the Asian gambling market, with both Malaysian and Chinese in addition to Thai gamblers being the focus of the website.
The Bodog88 website offers casino and sports betting to residents of China and allows them to meet with other gamblers from around the world, such as the United States and Canada, to bet online together using separate websites.
The fact all areas of their website can be viewed in Chinese tells you everything you need to know and Bodog88 are determined to give the people of China at top online casino experience. They even have Chinese specific deposit methods including Union Pay cards, which are offered by most major Chinese banks.
Bodog88 offers sports betting, casino and poker games, with the latter being available only to players in China. The most popular casino games are the live dealer games which include Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, sic-bo (tai-sai) and Dragon Tiger.
There are close to 50 slot games and over 25 video poker games including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus and Joker Poker. As mentioned above, the standard poker games are only available to people from China and include No-Limit Texas Hold’em.
For those wanting to bet in China, Bodog88 makes a great choice.
188bet is a popular online betting website and has been in operation since 2006. They have recently spread to the European markets and can been seen sponsoring the Rugby League team Wigan Warriors. However, they have their roots firmly in Asia.
The first thing to note is that in addition to English, their entire website is available in Chinese and offers betting accounts in several currencies, including the Chinese Yuan.
There are several online casino options at 188bet including the Grand Suite, VIP Suite, Imperial Suite and Royal Suite live dealer casinos. The live dealer casino games are some of the most popular at 188bet as you can see the dealer in action and there is no danger of anything untoward taking place.
If live dealer casino games are not for you, 188bet also have plenty of slots to keep players happy in addition to traditional table games including Blackjack, Baccarat, Caribbean Poker, Roulette, Red Dog, Oasis Poker and many more.
With Keno also on offer, it’s little surprise 188bet remains a top choice for those looking to gamble online in China.
6. Bitcoin Casinos
Bitcoin casinos, like all other forms of online casinos, are banned in China. Bitcoin gambling is quite popular in China because it is anonymous and helps online gamblers remain undetected. This is why we've seen some spectacular growth in the bitcoin casino sector in the last year. It's expected to grow even more in the coming years.
138fa, 1xslot and 1xbit are examples of three online casinos which use bitcoin and thus they have become quite popular in China. By using Bitcoin, transactions at online casinos become much faster than traditional methods and you can enjoy online gambling without worrying about how long you need to wait for deposits and withdrawals.