William Hill to Pull Out Online Wagering Services in China
In light of regulatory reasons beyond its control, top bookmaking firm William Hill decided to pull out its online gambling services in the Chinese market effective August 19, 2013. China-based players will no longer be able to access the online sports betting and gaming facilities of William Hill, while those who still have remaining balances can still withdraw the funds from their online betting accounts.
Actually, the People’s Republic of China bans all forms of gambling facilities in its territory, except for those located in Macau and in a cruise ship called Xiang Xue Lan. Macau is a region under a so-called Special Administration but even there, the offering of casino games via Internet wagering facilities is illegal.
Since the Chinese government does not grant online gambling licenses, residents within its territorial jurisdiction are technically not allowed to engage in online betting activities. Still, most avid Chinese punters find ways to play at offshore gambling websites that accept Chinese players, for as long as they have the capability to place funds and receive payouts in their online gambling accounts. In fact, there are web-based betting facilities that even accept Chinese currency using Chinese credit cards.
Although there were hopes that the Chinese government would soften up its regulations as far as gambling is concerned, it appears that the Chinese authorities are taking contrary actions. The crackdown on online casinos and betting sites reportedly started last year, by closing down offshore gambling sites run by Chinese operators and their affiliates.