Chinese Lottery Laws

There is a general ban on gambling in China and casinos can only be found in the special administrative region of Macau, which has different laws. However, an exception is made for lotteries and the government does run some official games which are not considered gambling.

The official lotteries of China can be split into two distinct categories - the China Welfare Lottery and the China Sports Lottery. These two organisations operate authorised games which raise money for public welfare and sports development and the government has made a large commitment to funnelling the market into these legal lotteries due to concerns over how much of the country’s gaming revenue was staying underground.

The Ministry of Finance oversees the legal lotteries in China, taking responsibility for the administration and regulation of the industry and providing a strong framework to ensure that all official games are run fairly.

The growth of the industry shows how much progress has been made and China has been closing in quickly on the USA as the world’s largest lottery market due to bigger prize payouts and new games. Regulations have been tightened considerably since the start of 2015 in a further bid to crack down on corruption, with unauthorised online lottery ticket sales suspended. Players have to buy tickets from authorised retailers, except for citizens who hold a Jiangsu Province ID, who can play lottery games on a mobile app. Discussions are ongoing over as to whether or not this should expanded to a nationwide scheme.

In the special administrative region of Hong Kong, the Mark Six lottery is run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, a horse racing operator and non-profit group which has been granted government approval to provide the game.

International Lotteries in China

Chinese citizens can play international lotteries by using a concierge service, as games based in Europe or USA are not subject to the same Chinese gambling laws as the China Welfare Lottery and China Sports Lottery.

Can I play international lotteries from China?

Find out How to Play International Lotteries and take part by using a lottery concierge service.

How will I receive my winnings if I am playing from China?

You will be notified automatically if your ticket wins a prize and the money will be paid straight into your account for most non-jackpot prizes. If you win a substantial amount, perhaps even the jackpot, you will be contacted by a representative from the lottery concierge service to help you claim your money.

Will the lottery messenger service take a commission or deduct some of my winnings?

Winnings are paid in full, subject to the deduction of any compulsory taxes in the jurisdiction where the game is officially played. The lottery concierge service charges a small fee when you buy your ticket to cover their operating costs and will not deduct any of your winnings. If you win a prize, it is advised that you consult a local tax professional to find out if you will be responsible for any taxes on your prize based on your jurisdiction.