How to bet on International horse racing from China
The laws surrounding betting on horse racing, and sports for that matter, from China contain many grey areas, but it is possible to bet on the sport of kings at online betting sites from this country.
While there are state-sanctioned sports lotteries and special administration regions (Hong Kong and Macau) where gambling is allowed, Chinese punters will be hard pressed to find a legal bookie accepting bets on Australian, United Kingdom, Ireland and USA thoroughbred racing.
Bet365 was the go-to bookie from this country in recent years, but the flack the global giant was copping has forced it to scale back its commitment to servicing China.
This doesn’t mean you can’t bet on the international four-legged lottery from China; you just need to dig a little deeper. This article will give an overview of the best bookies for Chinese punters.
How to bet on United Kingdom horse racing from China
Horse racing in England is considered strong and transparent, and the bigger meetings, including Royal Ascot, attract much attention around the world, including in China.
Many bookies cater to Chinese gamblers with an eye for British racing. Betting sites such as 10Bet, Bodog88 and Bet 365 have gained a strong reputation for ease of deposit and consistent withdrawals for Chinese players.
The Bet365 situation, though, changed in the middle of 2015 and you may no longer be able to bet with it from China.
10Bet and Bodog88 offer extensive betting on UK meetings, including mid-week meetings, and both offer enticing bonuses for betting with them.
Horse racing in the United Kingdom and Ireland
The racing is year-round with the flat racing season running roughly from April to November and the National Hunt (jumps racing) season from November to April.
Racing here boasts many of the greatest jockeys, trainers and horses in the world. The powerful Godolphin organisation is a major player, as is the Ireland-based Coolmore Stud operation, with Aidan O’Brien as head trainer.
The highlight of the flat season is the Queen’s Royal Ascot carnival: five days of high-class racing featuring eight group 1 races. It is also one of the social events of the year in Britain.
On the jumps front, the four-day Cheltenham festival in March takes top billing as the best from England, Ireland and beyond do battle. The famed Grand National at Aintree follows in April, a relentless survival of the fittest over 30 fences and almost 7200m.
How to bet on Australian horse racing from China
Australian racing is among the most competitive in the world, with the Melbourne Cup carnival the jewel in the crown.
While it is worth checking to see if Bet365 is accepting Chinese punters, there are other offshore betting sites which offer markets on Australian racing.
In mid-2015, Bodog88 began running markets on all metropolitan and many regional meetings on Aussie shores. The company also began covering Australian greyhound racing.
The Bodog brand will be familiar to many, with Bodog88 set up to cater for Chinese punters. The number 88 symbolizes “luck and good fortune” in Chinese culture.
The brand, founded by Canadian entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, has made an artform of catering to markets with strict gambling laws.
Horse racing in Australia
The racing in Australia is predominantly on the flat and usually on turf, though there are several venues with all-weather surfaces.
The highest-class racing takes place at city tracks. Sydney has four major tracks (Randwick, Rosehill, Canterbury and Warwick Farm), as does Melbourne (Flemington, Caulfield, Sandown and Moonee Valley), while Brisbane has two (Eagle Farm and Doomben). Adelaide (Morphettville) and Perth (Ascot and Belmont) also usually host two meetings a week.
The city meetings are usually held on Saturdays and Wednesdays, though at carnival time the top-class action could fall on any day. Indeed, ”the race that stops the nation”, the Melbourne Cup, is run on the first Tuesday of November each year.
Outside of city action, there are provincial and country meetings on almost every day of the year.
The racing is tightly policed and betting is highly organised. Online form is freely available, often provided by bookmaking websites.
Deposit options at bookies for Chinese players
Depositing money to your betting account is the hardest part of gambling on racing and sports online from China, and it’s not that hard any more.
Debit card: Is a common option although there have been reports of some banks blocking transactions to offshore betting sites.
Bank transfers: This involves transferring money from your own account to the betting site’s account. You can start these transfers from your own online banking, with the amount debited from your account when it hits the bookies’ bank.
Transfers: Some sites use an online banking transfer system, which allows you to log in to your bank via the a secure interface at the betting website. These deposits are instant.
Bank transfers/cash deposits: You can either visit your bank and organize a transfer to an international bank account (held by the bookie) or if the bookie holds a local bank account you can immediately deposit cash into it.
Union Pay: A popular way for Chinese to deposit to gambling sites. It is a pre-paid credit card that has a great reputation for easy deposits.
Is sport & racing betting legal in China?
Technically it is not legal to bet on sports and racing online in China but millions of people do. Because the websites offering these service are not based in China it is impossible for the Chinese government to take action against them.
While it is extremely unlikely an individual will get in trouble for gambling on horse racing in China, the few reported cases of a ‘casual’ gambler getting in trouble have resulted in small fines.
While there is still a small risk associated with punting on the races at online bookies from China, it is more than possible to do so.
What happens if my ISP gets blocked by a bookmaker?
Punters in China and Thailand have been subject to some IP blocking by governments. This basically means because they have no jurisdiction over where the sites offering their betting are based, they block their URL from being accessed from Chinese ISPs.
If this happens, simply email the bookie you have been blocked from and they will either give you a secondary website (known as a mirror website) or advise you which VPN service to use. VPNs allow an internet browser to appear as though they are in a different country, or city. For instance you could make yourself appear to be in London, instead of Beijing.