China’s Lottery Betting Bonanza Belies Gambling Desires

China's Lottery Betting Bonanza

The illegality of gambling in China is well known, and their highly publicized crackdown on the numbers of junkets to the oasis that is Macau has underlined this as much as the high profile arrest and jailing of Jason O’Connor of Crown Resorts, but are the authorities simply papering over the cracks as numerous Chinese choose to gamble illegally online? Isn’t China’s lottery betting habit just a bit of a giveaway that Chinese gambling laws are a touch out of step with the desires of the population?

  • Does China’s lottery betting habit prove there’s no turning back the tide?
  • Will the Chinese authorities relent and allow real gambling in China one day?
  • Could Las Vegas Sands build a resort in China this century?
  • Is Hong Kong likely to face a crackdown similar to Macau next year?

China's Lottery Betting

Jason O’Connor got a ten month sentence for illegally promoting gambling in China, the Crown Resorts executive chasing down the Chinese high rollers left out in the cold by the restrictions placed on travel to Macau, but is it really surprising that the gambling giants are willing to sail close to the wind in pursuit of the big spenders? China’s lottery betting probably isn’t as thrilling for the already rich as it is for most of the population, so why not let them gamble somewhere sensible. Like a casino.

Of course China’s lottery betting is really there for the general mass, and in the nominally still Communist China there is a distinct connotation that if you’re spending a lot of money gambling the chances are you got it from illicit or illegal activities. This seems to be particularly true when applied to members of the ruling classes…….sorry, I mean committees. These rich gamblers are unlikely to be satisfied with Bet365 or other online entities, they need somewhere to be seen to be rich.

Where Have All The Whales Gone Now Macau Is Restricted?

China’s Lottery Betting

  • Two state run lotteries
  • China Sports Lottery
  • China Welfare Lotter
  • All other gambling illegal
  • Macau & Hong Kong

Macau was perfect for this purpose. However with Xi Jinping battling against corruption there were heavy restrictions (and a smoking ban) placed on Macau meaning a lot of these big gamblers had to seek sanctuary further afield. The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is doing a roaring trade off the back of this new situation, and with Japan possibly coming on stream with a resort of it’s own those too rich for China’s lottery betting regime will almost certainly only ever gain more options aboard.

Sure, the Hong Kong Jockey Club offers a little trackside action, but since the 1997 return of the British colony to Chinese control there has been a little more oversight than previously, the Chinese authorities not overly happy about the competition with China’s lottery betting opportunities, possibly because it already faces so much competition from online gambling giants like Bet365. The China Sports Lottery not quite the manner in which most people would like to bet on sports in China alas.

China’s Lottery Betting Opportunities No Match For Bet365

China’s lottery betting does provide some choice for the general population, who frankly would consider the high roller’s lack of facilities a minor redress to the imbalance of their nation, with the China Welfare Lottery running alongside the sporting version, however it is often pointed out that illegal gambling probably dwarfs even these mass marketed games and the numbers that log on to Bet365 through the Great Chinese Firewall. Rife doesn’t come close to describing illegal gambling in China.

China's Lottery Betting

At some point the connotations with corruption will have to be laid aside and the issues addressed, not just for the Whales but also for the hoi polloi. Gambling could be big business in China, but beyond China’s lottery betting it has been reduced to merely a criminal problem which has to be fought against, and whilst this makes the Chinese government look like King Canute fending off the tide, and helps swell the coffers of Bet365, no Chinese gambling news of an about face in the near future should be considered insane. Stranger things have happened, and the revenues alone would be astronomical.

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