China online sports betting laws
There are now many forms of legal betting in mainland China, including sports betting, lottery, and virtual terminal games that function similar to slot machines, all combining for to generate profits in the billions. If we also include Hong Kong and Macau, on a gambling by country basis, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) ranks number one in overall gambling revenue.
The law that makes non-approved forms of gambling a crime in mainland is Article 303 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China. This law states: 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.
You might notice this law is vague and does not make casual gambling a crime. It is still often treated as a crime due to old policy dating back to Mao’s day.
Since 1957, we have had a program called re-education through labour to punish minor offenses of gambling, petty theft, fraud, fighting, prostitution, soliciting and illegal drug use. It is a special committee under police authority that does the sentencing. While it is possible to demand a defense attorney, seek repeal, or even litigation against the committee, success in fighting sentences is not common.
The actual practice of Chinese authorities is to simply fine casual gamblers. These authorities do use the media to report hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of annual gambling arrests. Understand this is sensationalized reporting designed to scare people into believing casual gamblers are often detained, which is not the case.
In 2012 there were an estimated 347,000 citizens prosecuted for gambling offenses. This same year the government claimed success in closing down over 30,000 illegal casinos and breaking up over 10,000 gangs responsible for running these casinos and illegal bookmaking operations. There were also many arrests involving junket operators, web-cam casinos, promoters, agents and banks. This is where the bulk of those prosecutions came from. Of the 347,000 prosecuted, only 5,700 people were sentenced to detention. More than 80% of those sentences were for 15 or less months.
It is important to note that what is done in practice, and what is said, are sometimes two different things. The police authorities claim they are not focused on casual gambling (for example: friends betting mah-jong is not a focus) but there are more than 430 committees for sentencing and each ranking police official has much control in who is arrested and then sentenced. This means it is possible to be arrested and sentenced for casual gambling, it is just extremely rare this happens. The penalty for casual gambling is generally a fine not exceeding 3,000 yuan.
There is no difference in the level of crime between players betting with illegal land-based casinos or betting with foreign gambling websites. While the government is very active in blocking access to these websites, there are ways to use them and it is very rare to hear of any players arrested.
The gambling policy and government views of gambling developed over the course of many centuries. In this section I cover how it was that gambling became so popular, and progress through the various social and legal developments up until the modern day. First it is important to note that while neither archaeological nor credible written evidence exists to support, some historians claim it existed since at least 2300 BCE.
This dating originated in 1943 when Han era (206 BCE – 220 CE) graves were excavated and the board games Liubo and Boju were found. Chinese history told of these games being played thousands of years earlier. Many failed to account for (or knew) these stories were only written around 100 BCE. As of modern day, the oldest versions ever found of either game date to fourth-century BCE. While it is possible it existed prior, it is worth noting in Iran, India, Iraq, and Egypt much older discoveries have been found. Also, in many of these places – written history tells of gambling long before written history tells of the same in China. And the final note is that there is not much credible information to support the idea either of these games were gambling games.
The oldest archaeological finds of what may have been gaming instruments in China are dice dating to around 600 BCE. The oldest ancient scroll telling of gambling dates to 200 BCE. This tells of a story from the same period. Specifically, of a ruler named Cheung Leung inventing Bái gē piào (白鴿票) to raise money for defence around 200 BCE. His invention was an early form of the game now played in the West called Keno. Accounts of the same story attributing Bái gē piào to having much earlier financed the building of the Great Wall date a few hundred years later and is likely only a legend.
There is much evidence to suggest gambling existed but was not any sort of social phenomenon during the Qing Dynasty (221 to 206 BCE). This is when CuJu – an early form of football (soccer) – developed. Sports betting was one of the most popular early forms of gambling in China. During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) more and more writing about gambling appeared. As history progressed the stories began telling of gambling in earlier times. There were even references to Cuju being played in 2600 BCE claiming it was a method used to train samurai. No such claims existed in the written findings that date only 100-200 years earlier. This suggests both gambling and sport became widespread during the Han Dynasty.
The earliest stories of a law prohibiting gambling tell of the Wei Kingdom (403 – 225 BCE) outlawing the activity with a monetary fine for those caught. The first actual legal documents on record that include the Chinese word for gambling (Dǔbó – 赌博) of current time as a legal provision appeared during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD/CE to 907).
It was said during the Tang Dynasty that gambling had infiltrated all walks of society. While dice, tile and card games existed sport was the most popular form of gambling. There were professional Cuju leagues and other sports popular were Jiju (an early form of Polo), Chuiawan (an early form of golf), aerobics and ice-skating. The penalty started as a monetary fine but in time included forced military service. The penalty for military or officials caught gambling was much more severe and included caning and even execution for serious offenses.
At the start of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) Emperor Taizu of Song (Zhao Kuangyin) order that habitual gamblers have their hands chopped off. Military allowing gambling could receive corporal punishment as well. History notes that enforcement against led to a sharp decline in gambling popularity. This however changed during the sixteenth century when European Imperialism in Asia led to many anti-gambling measures becoming less effective.
My article Macau Gambling History covers developments of gambling in China from 1557 onward. This was the year the Portuguese began leasing Macau as permanent base for trading. As they also governed the territory, and there were no laws to prevent gambling in Macau, games such as Pai Gow, CLU-CLU (sic-bo) and Fan Tan were allowed to develop here without fear of prosecution. These were literally played out in the streets. This is a period in Chinese history where gambling really boomed.
It was during the nineteenth century that legal forms of gambling came to China. This can largely be attributed to the incompetency of late Qing Dynasty governments and the need for war funds. Two Opium Wars (1839 and 1856) against the British Empire, and the Sino–French War (1884-85) left China weak. We were unable to resist political interference and territory encroachment by the West, thus leading to the many Unequal Treaties. With China in weaken state Japan saw the opportunity to invade too.
I already mentioned the history of gambling in Macau, but the history of Gambling in Hong Kong is also an interesting read. In short: Macau became a Portuguese colony in 1887 (though was Portuguese governed since 1557) which lasted until 1999. England gained sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1842 which lasted until 1997. Today both are special administrative regions of China with their own governments, laws, passports and currency. Japan controlled many areas of China including Taiwan and Shanghai since 1895. This was brief in Shanghai but lasted until 1945 in Taiwan. You might also be interested in my article on the history of Gambling in Japan.
During these early periods of invasions, gambling in China became widespread. Horse racing was brought to Macau, Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1842. Hong Kong is now home to some of the famous horse racing known worldwide. In 1847 the Portuguese government of Macau began regulating and taxing casinos. Today this the largest casino market in the world in term of net gambling win. Lottery was introduced by Japanese government to Taiwan in 1906. During these periods, games now popular such as Mah-jong developed.
Gambling had already spread to China due to foreign powers and occupations here. In 1885 the Qing Dynasty was motivated by Spain’s success in using the lottery to generate tax in preparation for the Spanish-American war. It implemented a similar plan and allowed authorised lotteries to operate legally in exchange for paying tax. The first was started in Canton (Guangdong –which borders Macau) in 1886 called the Wei Seng Lottery (sometimes referred to as surname lottery). There are many archives that discuss this lottery: you can read a newspaper article from 1893, and even see a photo of the drawing room.
It did not take long for the idea of legal lotteries to sour. In 1905, a Fujian lottery company conducted 17 lottery draws with the jackpots rigged so that their own friends and relatives would win. During this ordeal angry mobs were lied to by the police who later lied in court. The press revealed the truth in great detail and afterwards lottery was banned in the province. A short while later, similar scandals were uncovered in Zhejiang and Anhui provinces. The ban on lottery was then expanded to include their provinces as well.
Lottery and all other forms of gambling were initially banned in the “Republic of China” (1912-1949) which is the period between the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and the start of The People’s Republic of China (1949-Current). Upon its establishment, the Nanjing Provisional Government banned lotteries in the Provisional Constitution. Soon later guidelines set the fine for purchase of lottery tickets at one-hundred yaun plus two times the cost of the purchase.
However, China was frequently at war and in the period known as the era of Beiyang Government where various warlords ruled. Under the guise of raising money for charity and relief many lotteries such as Xiang Relief Charity, Hubei Prize Pay, Law and Business Raffle, Hubei Military Aftermath Prizes, Shandong Industrial Vote, Zhejiang Association and others were allowed. It is believed a lot of this money just went to the warlords to grow fat. Illegal casino and horse race betting were popular under these warlord governments too.
On March 10, 1928 Kuomintang Government created several gambling laws and added them to the Penal Code. Interesting enough, these were the exact same laws right to down to article numbers and text that are used now in Taiwan, which you can find in my article on Taiwan Gambling Laws. This is because KMT was the government until they retreated to Taiwan in 1949, at which point the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established. During KMT governance of mainland China there were several approved lotteries such as Huang He lottery and the Aviation lottery.
Our country was established as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 when the Chinese Civil War between Communist Party of China (CPC) and Kuomintang (KMT) that had begun in 1927 neared its end. It was Mao Zedong who in that year declared the founding of PRC as a one-party socialist state controlled by the Communist Party. He governed the country as Chairman of the CPC until his death in September 1976.
Mao Zedong considered gambling one of the great ills of socialist society and banned all forms, including lottery, nationwide since PRC was founded. In 1957 his government created the re-education through labour program used to this day to punish certain gambling offenses. In 1966 he launched a nationwide campaign called the Cultural Revolution that was a program to eliminate counter-revolutionary elements in Chinese society. During this period the mere act of playing mah-jong (even with no gambling involved) was a crime.
Following the 1976 death of Mao Zedong much change in China began. In the 1980’s the Mahjong law was repealed. In 1984, the Beijing International Marathon took place. In order to raise funds the Chinese Athletic Association offered sports betting on the event. The following year such activity became regular practice of the National Sports Commission and was approved by the State Council.
The government made moves in 1986 to restrict sports betting, but it remained a topic of internal debate. In 1987 the tides turned entirely with creation of our current Welfare Lottery. If this is a topic of interest to you then I suggest reading a 1987 interview that OnlineBetting.com has added to Google Docs. This properly explains the reasons why legal gambling returned to China. It was from here the gambling in China of today all developed. You can learn about it including our many lotteries, legal sports betting, and our newest popular form of gambling which functions similar to slot machines in my article titled Gambling in China.
There are many forms of legal gambling in China mainland including lottery, sports betting, scratch cards, rapid draw games such as Keno, and virtual lottery terminal games similar to slots. While under China Gambling Law Mahjong betting is not allowed, this is barely enforced. The ban on Chinese Betting sites is enforced but only so by internet censorship. In this article I will ignore those latter aspects and focus on fully allowed gambling.
Chinese Sports Lottery has a monopoly on all forms of legal sports betting in Mainland China. Their major focuses are the sports basketball, football (soccer) and baseball. This includes nearly every league from all over the world. NBA basketball, MLB baseball, English Premier League (EPL) and Spain’s La Liga are major draws.
With sports lottery there are multiple ways to bet sports. One is pari-mutuel based and is more lottery like due the difficultly of win. Taking Football Lottery (足球彩票) as an example the main games are betting pools where 65% of ticket sales are paid out to winners up to the maximum payout per person for each game (usually RMB 5 million). Dividends are declared per yuan wagered.
The main football lottery involves selecting home, away or draw in 14 football matches. All correct pays the jackpot and 13 correct pays 30% the declared jackpot (up to the maximum allowed for each). Optional Nine (任选九) works the same but only 9 games are selected and only all correct is the winner. Two other popular games are 6-selection half-time/full-time (this called Bàn quán chǎng -半全场) and a 4-selection correct score game (this is called Jin Qiucai – 进球彩) which is now the most popular form of football betting in China mainland.
The other ways Chinese Sports lottery is bet are single match (straight bets) and single field betting (our term for accumulators / parlays). These are very popular options for betting basketball and baseball especially for NBA. To give an idea of the odds Euro basketball point spreads are generally offered at 1.70 per side (100 staked wins 70 profit) and NBA is 1.75 (100 staked wins 75 profit).
It is also important to understand that even with single match and single field (accumulators) the odds are not fixed. If you bet at 1.75 but the odds close at 1.82 you end up with better odds. If you bet at 1.75 and it moves to 1.70 you end up with worse odds. Bets are paid based on where the odds close. While this could be advantageous to the bookmaker, really they are simply looking to balance the action and adjust the odds appropriately. When the match starts it is clear what the odds are.
As far as purchasing tickets there are many channels. Betting shops can be found spread all over most cities. Also, Beijing, Tianjin, and Guangdong have approved online betting and now run it through major internet companies that receive 1% of the betting turnover. Players from all over China can use these sites and deposit with AliPay, PayPal and YeePay. Due to transaction fees and the number of shops available, betting in person remains far more popular.
There are two companies that provide lottery in China and both are state owned. I have included a photo that shows a shop of each. The top photo is Chinese Sports Lottery which has shops nationwide that look similar to betting shops found in the UK. The bottom photo is a China Welfare Lottery shop. While there are some nicer shops, many of these are simply stands or corner type markets similar to Asian-style convenience stores.
The Chinese Sports Lottery employs over 300,000 people and is very visible in China. They offer traditional number lotteries, scratch cards, sports betting lotteries, single match sports bets, and terminals for betting virtual sport. The welfare lottery offers the exact same less sports betting and plus rapid draw games similar to Keno and slots. A main difference of each is where the money goes.
The profit from the sports lottery goes towards development of sport in our county. The welfare lottery goes toward public welfare and the amounts it has donated are massive. Having started in 1987, over its first 25-years the welfare lottery has distributed RMB 253 billion (USD $40.3b) to designated charities and various relief efforts. The bulk of this has come in recent years as legal gambling in Chinese mainland is experiencing rapid growth (2012 had 2.7 times the profit of 2008).
Another difference is sports lottery tends to appeal to younger people, while welfare lottery is popular with older Chinese – though not without plenty of crossover for each. Both are very big lotteries when compared to legal gambling by country. In 2012 Sports Lottery generated RMB 110.5b (USD $17.6b) in profit and Welfare Lottery generated more at RMB 151b (USD $24.1b) in profit. In this article I cover the products offered by each but first I briefly discuss Chinese lottery culture.
There is probably no country in the world that takes draw lottery more serious than China. We have entire businesses built around this such as e-books on how to predict results and software used to track and predict numbers. A lot of the tracking is also offered for free. In many stores and shops entire walls are filled with charts (similar to massive baccarat score cards). Even the government’s own website produces charts, an example here.
Some Chinese believe in lottery poetry which is known here as Qiúqiān (求籤). They will light firecrackers at the temple in preparation and then use bamboo sticks to communicate with the gods. On the bottom of the poetry lottery number selections can be found along with their fortune. Such practice is much more a part of Gambling in Thailand, and done more in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong than in mainland China. It still does exist here plenty though – especially in our most populated province Guangdong. Other Chinese don’t necessarily believe lottery results are divine, but rather that patterns can be used to predict results.
There are two types of number draw lotteries in China – scheduled draws which take place either daily, weekly or multiple times per week – and rapid draw games which take place every certain number of minutes. In total these combine to offer about 100 different variations because the offerings differ by province. In this section I will cover just the most popular nationwide games when discussing scheduled draws.
Welfare Lottery – Scheduled Number Draw Lotteries
The welfare lottery has several provincial draws and a special one only for Eastern China. However it is the three covered below that account for the largest volume. Each is offered nationwide and costs ￥2 per play.
Union Lotto (双色球) – also known as colour ball, has been the main lottery of China since it began in February 2003. The draw is every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The game requires picking 6 red ball numbers (1-33) and one blue ball number from (1–16). 6+1 pays the jackpot up to ￥10 million and 6+0 pays 30% of the jackpot. There are also fixed prizes. 5+1 pays ￥3000, 5+0 and 4+1 pay ￥200, 4+0 and 3+1 pay ￥10 and 2+1, 1+1 and 0+1 pay ￥5.
The Seven (七乐彩) – is drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30pm. It is played by selecting 7 numbers (1-30). The lotto draws 8 numbers (the additional one is called the extra number or half-number). The jackpot is divided as 70% for 7+0 | 20% for 6+1 | 10% for 6+0 | up to a maximum of ￥5 million. The fixed odds prizes are 5+1 RMB200, 5+0 RMB50, 4+1 RMB10 and 4+0 RMB5.
3D Lottery – is the China Welfare Lottery’s simplest game. Just pick 3 numbers (0-9) and decide how you want to play at a cost of ￥2 per. If you play all three exact you are paid ￥1000 if you win. If you play 3-box which means one of your numbers is duplicated (ex: picking 599 wins on 599, 959, and 995) you are paid ￥320 on a win. If you box three unique numbers you are paid ￥160 if those number appear in any order.
In 2012 our welfare lottery generated RMB 108.4b (USD $17.3b) in net win on number lotteries which was a 19.5% increase from the previous year. This however also includes rapid draw lotto as discussed below.
Welfare Lottery – Rapid Draw Games
The many rapid draw games take place every 5, 10, or 30 minutes depending on game and are available all over China. Many are exactly the same or are very similar to Keno, which is known in Macau as Bái gē piào, Pa Ka Pio or Pacapio depending who is spelling it. The variants of rapid draw differ by province. Two of the most popular offered in Beijing are Happy 8 (快乐8) and PK Pickup (PK拾).
Happy 8 is progressive Keno. There are 80 numbers (1-80) of which 20 are drawn. You can play 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 numbers. However many you play has a different pay table as shown on this 快乐8 page. As that page is Chinese, but readable, note that all correct in the 10 number game reads 最高500万 – this means up to 5 million yuan – as that spot is a progressive payout. The table linked shows the payouts per ￥2 wagered and new games start every 5 minutes.
PK Pickup (PK拾) is betting on simple virtual races that take place every 5 minutes. Each racer is numbered 1-10. On the lottery card you can select the exact order of finish for first, first two, first three etc. all the way to predicting the exact order of all 10. The same as keno each number of selections has a different payout based on how many spots are correct which can be found on this 北京PK拾 page . The smaller paytable shown is for 3 additional games of Precise Betting (精确投注) where payouts are only made if you are exactly correct on top finishers. The pay table linked reflects the dividends per ￥2 staked.
Again, in 2012 rapid draw games and schedule draw games of welfare lottery combined for RMB 108.4b (USD $17.3b) in net gambling win.
Sports Lottery – Scheduled Number Draw Lotteries
As mentioned earlier the sports lottery does not only offer sports betting. It is called the sports lottery simply because its profits benefit sports. Its five main scheduled number draw lotteries are covered below.
Super Lotto (超級大樂透) – First launched in 2007, this is the richest lottery in China. Tickets costs ￥2 per play (or ￥3 play for Super Plus which gives a higher max payout) and drawings are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The game involves selecting 5 numbers (1-35) and 2 numbers (1-12). The top prizes are 75% jackpot for 5+2, 20% for 5+1 and 5% for 5+0. There are also fixed odds prizes. 4+2 and 4+1 pay ￥3000 and ￥600 respectively. 4+0 or 3+2 pays ￥100, 3+1 and 2+2 pay ￥10 and 3+1, 1+2, 2+1 and 0+2 pay ￥5. The top prize is progressive and can reach RMB 10m when playing a ￥2 stake or RMB 16m when playing a ￥3 stake.
Lotto 5/22 (22选5) – is a daily lottery game drawn Monday-Sunday. It is very easy to play, just pick 5 numbers 1-22 at a cost of 2 yuan per ticket. If you get all correct you win the jackpot which is shared with all winners. 4 correct pays 50 yuan and 3 correct pays 5 yuan.
Seven Star Lottery (七星彩) – is a ￥2 per play lottery drawn every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday evening that involves selecting 7 numbers (0-9). All correct pays 90% of the jackpot, and first 6 or last six pays 10%. If anywhere on your ticket you get five in consecutive order you win ¥1800, four anywhere in consecutive order ¥300, three anywhere in consecutive order ¥20, and two anywhere in consecutive order ¥5.
P5 – This is a ￥2 per play play lotto drawn every night where you pick 5 numbers 0-9. If all are correct you get paid ￥100,000. There are no smaller prizes.
P3 – This is the exact same game as 3D lotto already covered on this page with the same payouts. Just this version is offered by the sports lottery.
In 2012 number draws of Chinese Sports Lottery profited RMB 65.6b (USD $10.5b) which was a 26.2% increase from the previous year. This accounted for 59.4% of their annual profit. Again case in point, they are called the sports lottery because their profits benefits sports.
Both the Chinese Sports Lottery and China Welfare Lottery offer instant scratch card games. These cost anywhere from RMB5 to RMB30 per ticket and there are many different variations. In the image shown, the ones on the top are from the welfare lottery. In case you are interested in a Baidu image search to see more these are called Fúcǎi jí kāipiào (福彩即开票). The Sports lottery version is called dǐng guā guā (頂呱刮) and the ones on the bottom are their very popular NBA themed scratch cards. In 2012 sports lottery generated RMB 18b and welfare lottery 20.2b in scratch card win. That’s a combined RMB 38.2b (USD $6.1b) profit.
Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) are computer based gambling games. They function similar to slot machines in that most are standalone machines with a random number generator (RNG) used to generate results. Here we have many different games. Some are merely virtual scratch cards, others actually are slot games, some involve a slight level of skill and others are used to bet virtual sport.
One of the most exciting virtual sport games is Lucky Racing. This was developed in a partnership with AG Tech and the UK bookmaker Ladbrokes. It involves extremely high quality Formula 1-style virtual races. It provides players with computer generated stats on the circuit, race cars and drivers. After making bets, punters watch an invigorating computer-generated race with life-like graphics play out on the terminal screen. This is very realistic and has become one of the most popular VLTs in China.
In 2012 VLTs generated our lotteries RMB 22.423b (USD $3.57b) in profit – a 31.8% increase from the previous year. This is a number that should continue to grow. In 2011 only Hebei Province and Tianjing had VLTs widespread. In these locations their betting shops practically resemble slot parlours as VLTs are packed into many shops. Currently our government is watching the social impact of these machines, and has slowly introduced them to more provinces.
Online gambling is very popular in Chinese mainland. According to Wang Xuehong of China Center for Lottery Studies at Peking University, the amount Mainlanders gamble online each year is about the same as the entire GDP of Beijing. The same report says this is because online betting offers better odds and more excitement than our legal lotteries.
Allsport365.com is perhaps the most exciting. This is one of the many URLs mainlanders can use to visit Bet365. They offer betting on all sports and leagues including in-play betting and even have live sports streams. For casino they have live dealer games and standard RNGs games. Online poker including ring games and Texas Hold’em tournaments are available too.
In this article I will compare online betting to our legal lotteries. First, it is important to understand under Chinese betting laws, betting with anyone other than Chinese Sports Lottery and China Welfare Lottery is a minor crime and players can be fined if caught. It is however very rare this happens. Gambling is very popular in China and our police focus on operators not players.
As Bet365 is a major company legal and licensed in the United Kingdom (UK) our authorities have no jurisdiction over them. Their sole deterrent is to block access to www.bet365.com. This company is however very dedicated to allowing mainlanders to gamble online if they choose. If you spend some time searching Baidu you can find there are over 1,000 different URLs to access Bet365 including Allsport365.com.
In this section I compare betting online to betting with Chinese lotteries. The topics addressed are the differences in payment options, casino/lottery and sports betting.
Payment Methods Compared
Our sports and welfare lottery are generally wagered in person at betting shops or stands, but can be bet online. The provinces with approved internet betting are Beijing, Tianjin, and Guangdong. Players from most all of China can use these websites and deposit and get paid with AliPay, PayPal and YeePay.
Bet365 and their competitors do not offer any of these payment methods. Instead Mainlanders use their Chinese debit card to deposit via AsiaPay365 or Click2Pay. Winnings can be requested at anytime and are paid with direct bank transfer (bank-wire).
According to Macau’s 2012 tourism report, they had 16,902,499 arrivals in 2012 from Mainland China and the average stay was just one day. While there are other things to do there, much of this travel is to play casino, which is not possible legally in mainland. The alternative to travel is illegal casinos (either live or online) operated mostly by triad or a legitimate online casino licensed where gambling is legal such as the UK. The latter is far lower risk.
To give an idea of what is offered online here are some of the features of Bet365 Casino:
Live Dealer Games – are a popular feature of Bet365 casino. They have a studio in Europe and another in Asia where attractive dealers spin roulette wheels, shake dice, and deal cards on real casino tables. These games that are taking place in real life are streamed online for players to bet. The games offered include baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and Sic bo (骰寶).
RNG Table Games – are offered including the same games found in the live dealer casinos. These are fast-paced games against a computer dealer. Also offered is Pai Gow, Craps, Caribbean Stud, Casino War, Blackjack Switch and dozens of other casino games.
Online Slots – are available in many variations including movie themes and Asian themes. Some offer progressive jackpots and these can grow to life changing amounts bigger than what even Super Lotto (超級大樂透) and Union Lotto (双色球) offer as top prizes.
Online Lottery – is available in many formats. There are scratch cards such as what Chinese Sports Lottery offers with dǐng guā guā (頂呱刮) and China Welfare Lottery with Fúcǎi jí kāipiào (福彩即开票). There are rapid draw games such as Keno – which is the game played in Beijing as Happy 8 (快乐8), in Macau as Pacapio (白鴿票) and in Taiwan as BINGO BINGO.
The above is not a complete list of what is offered. There is also video poker and virtual sport games – similar Lucky Racing. Other games and online poker and online bingo are offered too.
This is an area there is no debate in which has better odds and options. In my article Gambling in China I cover the sports betting games Chinese Sports Lottery offers. In none of the games do they pay out more than 65%. UK licensed bookies pay 90+% and high 90’s is quite common. This is “per game” too, so when compounded as multiples (accumulators) the payouts are often double, triple or even more with UK bookies.
Bet365’s main feature is sports betting. This is something they know a lot about as they own the English Premier League franchise Stock City Football Club. Also because they have players in well over 100 countries they cover all sports around the world.
For basketball you can bet NBA, European leagues and of course China’s CBA basketball ((中国男子篮球职业联赛). For football (soccer) our leagues covered include Chinese Super League (中国足球协会超级联赛), China League One (中国足球协会甲级联赛) – also known as Chinese Jia League(中甲联赛) and China League Two (Yi League) and the Chinese FA Cup, but you can also bet Premier League from England (EPL), La Liga form Spain or any other football from Europe and Asia.
You can find many other sports such as ping pong table tennis (乒乓球), badminton (羽毛球), and snooker (斯诺克) that are popular in China. Golf, Formula 1 racing, volleyball, baseball, cricket and all other sports imagined can be bet at Bet365 too.
Another major difference is the betting options. It is in not uncommon to find 50+ different ways to bet a single match. Examples for football include if a player will score, what the correct score will be, over under on number of corners or yellow cards, half-time/full-time, which team will be carded first, and this is only a small sample. For NBA you can bet over/under on rebounds, blocked shots or points scored by players. In baseball you can even bet if there will be a run in the first inning, or how many strike outs a pitcher will have. Of course for all these you can still bet over/under (hi-lo) or who will in the match – and what is shared are only examples of the MANY betting options.
Another major draw to online betting is many matches can bet while the game is in-play. Bet365 even offers high quality legal sports streams right from their website. This allows punters to watch a match on their computer screen and make bets on many markets the bookie offers while the match is still being played.
In short, as Wang Xuehong of China Center for Lottery Studies at Peking University has explained online betting is more popular because it offers better odds and more excitement than our legal lotteries. Until the government licenses foreign bookmakers or manages to replicate what they offer it will always be true that many Chinese prefer betting at sites such as Bet365 over our legal lotteries.