Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in China

Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in China

For the last few years the online casino industry has been developing very fast all over the world. Many players prefer gambling online because of the attractive games, the convenience to play from home and the big rewards. Many people use this activity as an entertainment trying their luck at some of the many available online casinos.


The Chinese gambling market is considered as one of the world's largest one


Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in China

Keno and Pai Gow are popular games in China. They were brought in the country back in the 19th century.

For many years gambling at foreign sites and casinos has been considered illegal in China. New regulations have been recently implemented by the government. They are actually more rigid in hopes to force more citizens to play into local casinos. Many questions arise such as if the strict laws are to ensure responsible gambling or just completely restrict access to gambling activities.


Gambling History in China

Many different forms of gambling have been used in China during the past few centuries. It is admitted that gambling started in China in 943, but other people believe it was long before then. Gambling existed during the Quing Dynasty but evidence shows that it was not as popular as it is nowadays.

Chinese history shows that laws prohibiting gambling go back to the Wei Kingdom dated 403 – 225 BC. People who were caught taking part in any form of gambling were fined. The first documents connected with gambling date from the time when the Tang Dynasty had the power. Very strict rules were in force regarding illegal activities. Gambling activities during the military service were punished very severe, sometimes even with execution.

In the middle of the 16th century Macau became a permanent base for trading. Gambling industry became very popular during this period. Games such as Pai Gow, Sic Bo and Fan Tan were played without any fear of penalty or prosecution. The main reason in 19th century China to be open  to certain legal forms of gambling was the  Qing Dynasty government needed funds for the war.

Some forms of gambling became legal and were taxed in or in order to fund the Spanish-American war. The legal lotteries stopped very soon as the jackpots were rigged.  The government of the first People's Republic of China completely banned any forms of gambling. In 1987 a few gambling lotteries for example Welfare Lottery were legalized.


New regulations regarding online gambling

In May 2017 new regulations came into effect in China. The amendments referred mainly online game operators, such as NetEase which is the biggest one at the moment. According to the new regulations online gambling sites adhere to Chinese rules.

The main target of the new regulations is to ensure responsible gambling and also to stop fraudulent and criminal sites. Certified legal site will be expected to provide details and information. They must make random draw results by players. Online operators will be requested to add limitations to deposit and withdrawal amounts. There are also stricter rules for payment confirmation. This will ensure that payments won't be done surprisingly.   

The Chinese government aims by the new set of regulations to create a safer and fairer gambling environment. Some of the rules haven't been amended at all. They have been brought to light as a reminded of what is considered legal and illegal under Chinese legislation. Chinese citizens can be served by online operators if only they have been licensed by Online Internet Culture. 


Will Gambling Winnings be taxed?

Chinese government having made online gambling legal, allows Chinese citizens that participate in any form of legal gambling and had wins lower than 10,000 RMB not to be taxed. When the won amount is bigger than 10,000 RMB, the tax rate will be 20%. But in Macau players can be sure that their winnings are tax free.

Illegal foreign sites with no license are not advisable to be used. Online gambling at them is punishable by law. Winnings from such sites cannot be declared as income, so they will be tax free. But if in case their illegal winnings are discovered they will be facing heavy penalties.


Gambling industry in China

The approximate annual revenue from gambling industry in China is $4 billion. The new amendments in the gambling legislation show that the government does not necessarily want to restrict online gambling but they aim to make it safer for their citizens. Plyers who keep the rules and play only at Chinese legal casinos won't be prosecuted. 

Anyone located in China can have a look at our top list of international casinos that are safe and secure to play at. You can read the useful information there, chose the casino you like, start playing and win big!

Edward Griffin


Edward Griffin

Hey I'm Edward Griffin, one of the people behind I have been living, playing and working in the online casino world for the past 15 years. I am here to help you make the most informed decisions in your online casino experience.

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