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China Gambling

Chinese Gambling Laws

Gambling is legal in China. There are several major Chinese lotteries, while Macau is the center of casino gambling in China.

Macau, also spelled Macao, has 30 casinos, some of them among the largest in the world. Famous Las Vegas entities like MGM, the Sands and Steve Wynn have their own properties in Macau.  Dog racing and horse racing is also legal in Macau.

In north of China in Yantai City, a cruise ship casino is found. Chinese are allowed to gamble online, though new restrictions against online lottery tickets went into effect in the last year.  

Cruise Ship Casinos in China

Xiang Xue Lan (Yantai City) – The cruise ship Xiang Xue Lan in Yantai City, China is the only Chinese casino found outside of Macau. The Xiang Xue Lan Hotel houses a 24-hour casin on Jiefang Road in Yantai City. Call the Xiang Xue Lan phone number at +86 535 6212 290, or fax at +86 535 6214 196.

Yantai is a city in the northeastern part of China, in the Shandong province on the North China plain. Yantai City is found southeast of Beijing and north up the coast from Shanghai. Yantai is a port on the entrance to Bohai Bay at the mouth of the Yellow Sea, and is across the Korea Bay from the Korean Peninsula.

Lottery Games in China

The China Sports Lottery is the largest lottery in China. It can be found at Hong Kong HKJC Lotteries Ltd. is also a large Chinese-language lotto company, so large that the lottery is the #1 tax payer in Hong Kong.

Finally, international companies like Betex Group PLC out of the United Kingdom has a Chinese-language lottery site, with offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. Unfortunately, lottery gaming online is now strictly limited in China.

Online Lottery Laws in China

The PRC announced the Provisional Rules for the Administration of Issue and Sales of Lottery, which prohibits Chinese citizens from engaging in online lottery ticket sales. The Chinese Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Sport and the Ministry of Civil Affairs were the PRC entities which jointly announced the decree.

Before the law went into effect in 2008, Chinese gamblers could buy lottery tickets online at Chinese-language sites operated by VODONE. VoDONE operated the Lottery Channel, which sold online tickets. The Lottery Channel has been shut down and VODONE has moved on to other industries, claiming lottery tickets were a small part of their business.

China Sports Lottery Printing Limited, or the CSLP, is working in conjunction with Scientific Games to build a lottery ticket printing facility on the grounds of an existing CSLP facility in China. This deal was signed in February 2008. The two companies will have a joint partnership for 15 years and Scientific Games’ profits will be based on a percentage of the number of tickets sold.

Online Gambling in China

Online casino gambling is legal in China, though online lottery is illegal. There are many different online casinos which cater to Chinese gamblers, such as Betex and Bodog out of the U.K. 

For instance, Bodog Entertainment is focusing resources on tapping the Chinese online gaming market. Bodog owner, Calvin Ayre, says he wants to make Bodog into an “online Macau”, China’s casino province. Bodog has established a hotline for speakers of Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. Bodog also recently launched a Chinese ad campaign in the Chinese online media and print media. Evelyn Ng is featured in this campaign.

Chinese Horse Racing

The Chinese government is in the process of making horse racing and pari-mutuel wagers legal in China for the first time since 1949. If horsetrack gambling is legalized, the first Chinese horse races could take place as early as 2009.

The new horse track will be built in Wuhan in the Hubei Province by the Orient Lucky Horse Group Cooperation. Estimates are that Chinese pari-mutuel wagering could bring in $13 billion per year in revenues, though Chinese officials are quick to point out that gambling might not be legalized.

The creation of horse tracks are another sign of the growing middle class in China. A middle class wants entertainment venues where they can spend their disposable income and a horse track is another spending option. If the trial period goes well, betting on horse races will be another of those options.

Professional Poker in China

The China Leisure Sports Administrative Center and the China National Traktor Poker Tour crowned its first professional poker champions in the fall of 2007. The competition was held in Lanzhou, Ganzu and were held in conjunction with the World Poker Tour Enterprises. The WPTE recognized the champions, which won an all-Chinese tournament of 418 competitors. Traktor Poker is a traditional Chinese card game.

Macau Gambling

Chinese Macau is one of the major gambling cities in the world. By some estimates, Macau or Macao passed Las Vegas in gambling revenues in 2007, making Macao arguably the new gambling capital of the world.

Because Macau is such a large gambling venue, World Gambling Review has given Macau its own separate page on this site. Click on the following link to read a full recap of gambling in Macau.

Hong Kong Gambling

We also have a separate page for gaming in Hong Kong, another special administrative district of China. Click on the following link to read a full recap of gambling in Hong Kong.

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