China Underground > Entertainment > Where do Chinese poker players prefer to play? At the casino or online?

Where do Chinese poker players prefer to play? At the casino or online?

Last Updated on 2024/02/08

China has a massive population of around 1.4 billion people within its borders. You would think that some of them would like to play poker in their spare time. But how do they like to play it? In-person at a casino? Or from the comfort of their couch via an online poker site? Or not at all? And do they have access to cash app casino games – a new market which is seeing incredible growth in the West?

Gambling has some legal challenges in China

While the population of China might want to gamble by playing poker, they are not allowed to do so. The letter of the law says that all forms of gambling are prohibited in the country. Therefore, there isn’t much to separate the appeal of an online casino or a live venue for poker participation, as both have severe repercussions for the players and organizers as they go against the law. Firstly, it comes with a hefty fine, which is the same as $70,000, and those breaking the law can end up with up to three years in prison!

Underground games versus Offshore Casinos and VPNs

Given that Chinese law forbids poker, it means that those ardent enough to defy the rules have to make a decision. Do they feel they will be safer by visiting illegal underground poker venues? These have been known to pop up in some of the smaller cities with less police authority presence. Then again, these can be run by gangsters – so there’s no guarantee that they’ll pay up if you win, etc.

The alternative is to use technology to play poker. Chinese poker players will be hard-pressed to find a Chinese-run site, as the government shut them all down a few years ago. However, users can still access offshore casinos with enough legwork, like using a VPN. Some companies behind offshore casinos appreciate the situation in China and tailor their sites to Chinese customers by having the site available in Mandarin. However, these sites are not governed by local legislation, so if they don’t operate a fair game, the Chinese authorities will make no effort to help.

Neither of these is an enjoyable reality, especially for playing poker. Of course, Chinese law enforcement still risks catching and punishing either of these players.

Chinese poker players probably prefer Macau

As discussed, Chinese poker players and anyone who likes to gamble have a hard time doing so in China. Therefore, law-abiding citizens would probably opt to simply go to Macau and have a gambling holiday. Chinese citizens can visit Macau with little strife other than obtaining the Two-Way Permit document. During their stay in Macau, they can take advantage of Macau’s pro-gambling stance. There are over 50 casinos on the peninsula, with plenty of poker tables.

The online casino picture in Macau is a lot hazier. Chinese mainland visitors should probably stick to the live venue casinos as the Macau government is currently reviewing its legislation concerning online gambling, as it is very vague. Signing up for Macau-based casino websites may be unwise only to get into trouble with the Macau and Chinese authorities.

Does CashApp Work in China?

Another question asked is whether or not CashApp works in China. Well, yes and no. Firstly, the application is only available to users in the United Kingdom and the United States. Users must be based in one of these countries to complete the sign-up process, meaning that a person based in China would not be able to register, and therefore taking advantage of cash app online casino games isn’t really possible.

However, someone visiting China who has already completed the sign-up process would still be able to use it while they are in the country. This is because the Cash App payment card works like a VISA card. VISA is accepted in many places now; if you want to buy Chinese souvenirs at the airport, use your Cash App to complete the transaction!

Meanwhile, Cash App users in China might still be able to use the app to send payments to their domestic-based contacts; however, the app may be blocked and not load while in China.

Cash App users who want to send friends or family members funds based in China will be unable to do so as Cash App has no functionality to work outside the US or the UK. Financial apps better suited to that and used in China are AliPay, WeChat Pay, UnionPay, JD Pay, and Tenpay. These five have all been developed by Chinese companies and, therefore, have much more standing with the local banks and population.

Featured image: unsplash

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