China Bookmakers

Legal regulation of gambling in China is quite rigorous and has its roots in the early period of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, there are some types of betting and lotteries that are legally allowed and they play a role in the growth of the nation’s economy. This paper will give a detailed insight of China bookmakers, the history and legislation of gambling laws, the regulatory bodies, license and fee structures, taxes, prohibited and allowed bets, and an analysis of the sports betting in the country.

China Bookmakers

1949: It is important to note that gambling is prohibited in China as stated by the Chinese laws.

1987: The Welfare Lottery is one of the social policies that were introduced in the year 1987 in China to help the poor.

1994: Introduction of the Chinese version of the sports lottery.

2006: New amendments in the Criminal Law should reflect detailed provisions concerning gambling.

2023: The regulation of responsible gambling and industry code of conduct.

Historical Context of Gambling Laws in China

Gambling has been banned in China after the establishment of the Communist Party in the same year 1949. This includes both working and leisure gambling activities. Nonetheless, the state has legalised some types of betting, including lotteries which are not classified as gambling under Chinese laws.

Major Events in the History of Gambling Laws

  • 1949: Gaming is officially prohibited in the newly-formed People’s Republic of China.
  • 1987: Issue welfare lottery tickets.
  • 1994: The China Sports Lottery is launched.
  • 2006: It can be noted that the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China has been amended, and it contains elaborate provisions regarding gambling operations.

Legal Framework and Penalties

The gambling law is mainly regulated by the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China as revised in 2006. The law also specifies severe punitive measures against any person or company that engages in gambling business.

  • Article 303: Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China
  • Gathering people to gamble: Criminal detention or surveillance and a fine, or imprisonment of not more than three years and a fine.
  • Operating a gambling establishment: Criminal detention, or surveillance with a sentence of fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, or a fine. The extreme forms of the crime entail a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of up to ten years, in addition to a fine.

Public security administration punishment law

  • Article 70: Gives conditions for fines and detentions for people who gamble with big amounts of money or offer premises for gambling.

Regulatory Agencies of China Bookmakers

Several agencies oversee the implementation and regulation of gambling laws in China:

  • Ministry of Public Security: It is responsible for implementing the laws of gambling.
  • Ministry of Finance: Controls lotteries in the states.
  • China Sports Lottery Administration Center: Responsible for the administration of the Sports Lottery.
  • Welfare Lottery Distribution and Management Center: Walton also operates the Welfare Lottery.

Licenses and Fees

While most types of gambling are prohibited, the government sanctions state-run lotteries by providing licenses for them. The sale of lottery tickets is prohibited and the sale of unauthorised lottery tickets attracts severe penalties.

License Types

  • Welfare Lottery License: Enables the selling of Welfare Lottery tickets.
  • Sports Lottery License: Allows the sale of Sports Lottery and betting on any sports events.

Licensing Fees

  • Welfare Lottery: Fees depend on the size and the range of activities of a business.
  • Sports Lottery: They are determined by the expected sales and the number of betting stations.

Gambling Taxes

The Chinese government also lays down the regulation that any winnings from state-run lotteries will be subjected to a 20% tax.

  • Double Color Ball
  • 3D Lottery
  • Lucky 7

Prohibited and Allowed Bets

Prohibited Bets

  • Casinos: Gambling in a casino is also prohibited; one cannot open or be involved in the operation of a casino.
  • Online Gambling: Internet betting sites are unlawful if not authorized.

Allowed Bets

  • State-Authorized Lotteries: Two are the Welfare Lottery and the China Sports Lottery.
  • Sports Betting: Only available for football and basketball international matches through the Sports Lottery.

Sports Betting in China

Welfare Lottery

  • Commenced: 1987

Popular Games:

  • Double Color Ball
  • 3D Lottery
  • Lucky 7
  • Purpose: Revenues are used to finance the programs for elderly, the vulnerable and the disabled persons.

Sports Lottery

  • Launched: 1994

Bets Allowed:

  • Super Lotto
  • Order of 3
  • Order of 5
  • Seven Star Lottery
  • Purpose: Supports projects in the field of sports, education and health care.

Recent Developments

  • July 2023: Lottery signage standards were released by Ministry of Civil Affairs, and responsible gaming guidelines for the industry.
  • March 18, 2024: To the Chinese citizens the embassy in Singapore warned them against cross border gambling as it is unlawful in China.


Due to the multifaceted legislation on gambling in China, it is important to comprehend it for both the population and companies. Although most types of gambling are considered unlawful, legal lotteries exist and offer people a chance to gamble; they also support a range of social programs. If the people get to know the laws and regulations concerning these activities, then they will be able to indulge in the activities without breaking the law.

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