No legal casinos operate in mainland China except Macau and Hong Kong. Casinos in these two special administrative regions mainly offer sports and welfare lotteries. Over 15 games of chance are played in the 32 casinos of Macau.
There's a gambling house after every square kilometer in the city. The most played casino game in Macau is Baccarat, also known as baak ga lok. Over 85% of Macau's gaming revenue comes from Baccara.
Because casinos are boycotted in most Chinese cities, gamblers are forced to take their hobbies elsewhere. Poker was banned in 2018, including all kinds of poker, be it online or offline. Online casinos are not regulated in Macau and Hong Kong, allowing citizens to try their luck in those sites. Another pilot zone for casino gaming is Hainan, where players enjoy pari-mutuel sports bets.
Betting legislation in China
In August 2021, China implemented new gaming laws that reduced how much time minors can spend gaming. Players below 18 years of age can participate in online gaming only on weekends and public holidays. Gaming time for minors is strictly from 8 pm to 9 pm.
Previous legislation enacted in 2019 allowed the underaged to play games on weekdays for one and a half hours and on weekends for three hours during the day. This restriction aims to protect children's physical (eyes) and mental health while curbing gambling addiction.
The NPPA (National Press and Publication Administration) now has the mandate to license online video games. It requires gambling entities to register users with their real names as they appear in their national IDs. Minors must also be registered. To ensure that players follow these rules, betting companies in China have employed facial recognition techniques and other biometric algorithms.
Tencent monitors the activity of minors with tracking technology to make sure that children are not using their parents' accounts to play games outside of legal hours. In mainland China, citizens who win state-run lotteries are charged a 20% tax on payouts exceeding 10,000 CNY. Winnings below this figure are not taxed.