China's Online Gambling Trends: Table Games Over Slots

Published August 16, 2014 by Amir G

China's Online Gambling Trends: Table Games Over Slots

With Macau becoming a Mecca of gambling the next logical level is the gradual admittance of online casinos in mainland China.

The casinos in China's Macau roll billions of dollars yearly, giving sworn gambling cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City a serious run for their money. It is estimated that the gaming revenue in Macau is at almost four times bigger than that of the entire state of Nevada. Macau draws millions of gamblers every year, Chinese nationals and tourists from all over the world alike.

Chinese Playing Habits

It's interesting to look at the gambling habits of Chinese players who frequent Macau's 33 casinos. One thing spectators have noticed is that Chinese prefer table games, specifically baccarat, over slots. There are some reasons which are attributed to this interesting preference.

One claim is that Chinese enjoy casinos because of their social nature; this is something which cannot be experienced with slots as they are single player games (although people can spin slots together). Another claim has to do with suspicion - Chinese players are untrusting of slot machines: They prefer table games where they see a dealer and other players as well as the chips and dice. This is something which might be changed by what anthropologists call "cultural adaptation."

For whatever the reason, baccarat is the game of choice for Chinese players. The popularity of the game can be seen in the land-based casinos, where the tables are filled and the slots machines sit vacant on the side.  

Huge Jackpot Win Might Help

A catalyst of said cultural adaptation might come in the shape of the whopping $3.2 million jackpot claimed by a slots player at Macau's Sands Cotai Central last year. This extraordinary $3 million booty will definitely not lessen the opportunity of Chinese players to "discover" the potential of slot machines. 

Online Gambling in China

The gambling and tourism boom in Macau can help in explaining the rising popularity of online casinos in mainland China in the last few years, something which is all the more interesting when taking into consideration that online gambling is technically illegal in China. Online gambling legality has been an issue in China for a long time, but with a population of over 1.3 billion people it's hard to believe that these sanctions will last for long especially given the numbers coming from Macau: China would benefit from a functioning regulated online gambling market.

While online casinos offer full table game features including live dealers (some which are resembled after Macau dealers), slots of all kinds are among the biggest offerings online casinos pride themselves on. Some leading online casinos like Dafabet, 888 Casino and Vegas Red Casino are already prepared to welcome players from China, entirely available in Mandarin and Simplified Chinese.

Mentioned in this article

See also

China Is Looking to Bring Back Online Lottery Sales

Official iMoney Expo Slated for November 2018 in China

The Other Side of Gambling

NFL Holds Double Standards Over Gambling

Australia Commission: Legalize Online Gambling


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