Which are the TOP bookmakers in China and where to bet safely?

Which are the most reputable betting websites in China and where to bet safely while residing in the country? Find the answers to these questions by reading our full review of China’s online betting industry.

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  • Population: China is currently the world’s most populous country with approximately 1.43 billion residents according to a recent 2019 statistics provided by World Population Review. This makes up 18.59% of the total global population. Moreover, China is considered the 3rd largest country with a total land area of 9,706,961 km².
  • Active players: Chinese people are fond of gambling. However, it’s really hard to provide an accurate number of players since the Chinese government is actively cracking down on casinos since gambling is illegal in mainland China.
  • Currency: China uses the Renminbi (RMB), meaning “the people’s currency”, as its official currency. Meanwhile, its most widespread international usage is yuan (CNY). You can either write RMB 1,000 or CNY 1,000.
  • Regulated gambling products: Mainland China imposed a very strict anti-gambling law. Therefore, both online and offline betting options are punishable by hefty fines and even imprisonment. The government even blocked access to online Chinese gambling sites through the Great Firewall of China.
  • Operator types: China’s sports lottery is administered by the China Sports Lottery Administration Centre, while the welfare lottery is under the China Welfare Lottery Issuance Centre.
  • Designated authority: China’s Ministry of Finance is the one responsible for regulating, administering, and supervising the country’s national lottery. Meanwhile, the highest authority which grants licences in both welfare and sports lottery is the State Council. However, it doesn’t allow the issuance of a licence to any foreign lotteries.
  • Status: As mentioned, mainland China is very strict when it comes to gambling. Therefore, you can’t find any legal casinos in the country. If you want to play in a land-based casino, you can instead head to Hong Kong and Macau which are considered special administrative regions of China. This means that though they are part of China, and some aspects of mainland China’s law apply in both regions, their laws are mostly based on that of their colonists. Hong Kong, being a British colony until 1997, has its laws based on the English common law while Macau, being a colony of Portugal, has its laws based on the Portuguese law.

Top 3 Foreign Bookmakers in China

Despite the Chinese government’s efforts in cracking down online gambling, China’s online gambling market still remains massive. In fact, there are several online gambling websites that accept registrations from China. The following are as follows:

Dafabet

Hailed as the “home of Asian betting”, Dafabet is considered as among the most popular bookies in Asia. Founded in 2004, Dafabet offers a wide selection of gambling products, including online poker, flash games, online betting, and more. Though it doesn’t have a lot of sports options, you can certainly find betting markets for football, cricket, and basketball. When it comes to live-betting, Dafabet has an attractive sport layout that comes with multiple betting options. Moreover, it has a wide range of deposit methods to choose from and even comes with its own mobile service.

22Bet

The company 22bet is a Russian bookmaker that was founded in 2017 but is already proving to be one of the best operators when it comes to live betting and odds. It features an easily accessible platform that comes with a lot of lucrative promotions. Moreover, the site is available in 51 languages to make it even more accessible to several countries, including China. When it comes to their markets, 22bet features a variety of sports, including football, tennis, and more. You can also find lots of options to bet on, including eSports, live casino, poker, bingo, and more.

888Sport

The bookmaker 888sport is one of the most well-known sportsbooks throughout the world, making it one of the most popular bookmakers in China. It’s a very popular platform for bettors due to its high odds, a wide range of betting markets, and the availability of multiple deposit methods. When it comes to its sports betting section, you can find everything to be quickly accessible. You have the option to place bets on 22 different sports, with horse racing and football as the most popular. There are also markets for tennis, basketball, football, and more. You can also expect a lot of promotions such as a 100% welcome bonus, free bets, weekly offers, and tons of other promos daily just by signing in!

Important Things to Know About Betting Sites in China

  1. Betting Environment
    As mentioned, there are no legal casinos operating in China. Since only lotteries are allowed, Chinese citizens were forced to look for other avenues where they can gamble all they want. Poker, which is becoming popular in China, has also been prohibited by the Chinese government back in 2018. All forms of poker, including apps from the Play Store and App Store, are removed entirely. Hong Kong and Macau, however, are not bound by the laws of mainland China. As such, there is no authority that monitors and regulates online casino sites in those regions, allowing Chinese citizens to satisfy their gambling needs there. Another province in China where gambling is allowed is Hainan, though it’s only for pari-mutuel sports betting. There are, however, reports that said the Chinese government would encourage horse racing in Hainan and even expand its sports lotteries.

  2. Competition
    Due to mainland China’s strict prohibition of gambling and casinos, Chinese gamblers can only gain access to welfare and sports lottery. That leaves only Hong Kong and Macau to exercise full freedom when it comes to gambling.

  3. Operators
    Only the China Sports Lottery Administration Centre and China Welfare Lottery Issuance Centre are allowed to operate in China legally. This means that any land-based casino in the country is considered illegal.

  4. Active Players
    As mentioned, we can’t get any accurate data on the number of active gamblers in mainland China due to its gambling ban. In Hong Kong, 4 out of 5 respondents interviewed in a survey said that they participate in gambling. This is equal to 78% of active gamblers in the area, as per estimate.

  5. Key Info for Chinese Players
    Gambling is illegal in mainland China with the exception of Hong Kong and Macau. The only forms of betting you can find are the sports lottery and the welfare lottery. That said, one of the betting tips in China for those who want to get into an even bigger betting market with more betting options is to travel to either Hong Kong or Macau. However, the Chinese government is trying to curb the problem of gambling which is rampant in these areas. Therefore, travellers who are from mainland China can only bring a maximum of 20,000 RMB in cash. Aside from that, the country’s UnionPay card systems have set a limit to prevent Chinese people from drawing huge amounts of cash. In spite of that, Chinese gamblers managed to find a workaround by smuggling currency past several checkpoints that connect Macau and Hong Kong to the mainland. They also use pawnshops outside mainland China by pawning certain items in exchange for cash they can use to gamble.

  6. Gambling Taxes and Players’ Safety
    Mainland China only offers state-run lotteries, where the Chinese people can legally gamble on. That said, those who win more than 10,000 RMB will be charged with a 20% tax. However, any winnings that are less than that will be exempted.

Sports Betting in China: An Overview

The China Sports Lottery was organised by the Chinese government back in 1987 alongside the China Welfare Lottery. The sports lottery allows Chinese people to place bets on sports events which account for 43% of the country’s 309 billion yuan ticket sales back in 2013

However, there are still lots of illegal gambling rings that operate throughout the country, and most people prefer them due to their higher odds in China and less strict regulations. Lottery tickets used to be sold at physical locations, but since 2013, they can also be purchased online from licensed betting sites in China.


What Kind of Odds Format Is Used in China?

When gambling with European bookies from China, the odds format comes in either European decimal or UK fraction format.


Available Betting Markets in Most Bookmakers

There are several bookies that offer their services to the Chinese people. However, due to China’s heavy censorship, it will be hard to predict which of them gets blocked next. That said, these bookmakers offer a wide range of betting markets including football, tennis, live betting, bingo, poker, and several other American, Chinese, and European sports.


User Experience

Despite China’s prohibition, bookmakers that accept registration from Chinese players make sure that they can provide their users with excellent user experience. The three best bookmakers in China mentioned earlier, as well as other bookies, provide excellent site speed, interface, and customer service despite China’s censorship.


Bonuses and Promotions for bettors from China

Bookmakers that accept registrations from Chinese players offer a signup bonus, welcome bonus, discounts, and other promotions that players from other countries normally receive.


Live Betting, Live Streaming & Cash-Out Features

There is no China live betting and live streaming features that are legal in the country. Moreover, the Chinese government is always pushing efforts to prevent Chinese players from withdrawing or even depositing money into their online casino accounts.


Online Casinos in China

Online gambling is not legal in China. However, it’s known to have a lot of illegal casinos and betting venues scattered throughout the country. To date, the only legal gambling venues available are the state-run welfare and sports lotteries.


Available Methods for Withdrawals and Deposits

The Chinese government had successfully managed to block financial transactions between its people and online casinos via the State Council Information Office. This has caused Chinese players to look for other methods to withdraw and deposit to and from their accounts.

Most of the time, Chinese players use eWallets to conduct financial transactions. That said, Chinese online gamblers should check their online operators to know their available options.


Mobile Betting and Betting Apps

As much as online gambling is prohibited in China, the same goes for mobile betting and betting apps. In fact, the Chinese government even went as far as blocking and removing any gambling-related apps in both the Play Store and App Store.


Safety and Security

Chinese players who want to gamble online should do so at their own risk. While the safety and security offered by the top bookmakers in the country are considered top-notch, there’s no telling when they might get blocked by the country’s State Internet Information Office.

Taking part in illegal gambling venues can be quite risky as well, considering that illegal gambling is under the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China. Therefore, if caught participating in illegal gambling, they will be subjected to penalties, including fines and imprisonment.


Is Customer Support good enough for players from China?

Online Chinese gamblers can expect good quality support from the majority of the bookmakers that accept registration from China. However, support is only limited to their PCs since there is no Android and iOS mobile customer support due to China’s laws.


FAQs

Is sports betting legal in China?

Can you bet online in China?

What are the best online bookmakers?

What is the best sports betting site in China?

What sports are popular in China?

Are there any China free bets?

Are there any casinos in China?

When was gambling banned in China?


Interesting Facts

  • Macau, which is by far one of the only regions in China where gambling is allowed, is hailed as the largest gambling destination around the world, surpassing even Las Vegas.
  • Censorship in China is very strict, thereby causing a lot of online casinos to get blocked via the Great Firewall of China.
  • The Chinese people are actually heavy gamblers. This has prompted the government to place the ban due to that reason.

Are There Any Restrictions for Players from China?

Gambling is illegal in China. Therefore, those who engage in illegal gambling will have to face fines or imprisonment.


Conclusion

For now, China only allows gambling in Macau and Hong Kong due to both regions’ different laws. However, there’s no telling when the gambling ban on mainland China will be lifted, or will it be even lifted at all.

For Chinese players, they can either play in the state-run lotteries, travel to Macau or Hong Kong, or participate in illegal gambling venues and run the risk of getting caught.

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