iGaming Business – Online gambling operator Bet365 said that its internet gambling operations in China are breaking no laws despite the country having outlawed betting in all but a number of controlled scenarios.
The operator’s claim comes in response to a report by the Guardian newspaper, which said that despite having no physical presence in China, Bet365 has one of the most successful online gambling services accessible from inside the country.
Evidence collected by the newspaper suggests that a number of Chinese Bet365 customers have been detained for interacting with online betting firms while Bet365 also often changes its website’s address in the country to side-step attempts by local regulators to shut sites down.
In addition, the operator has set up a call centre in the UK staffed by Chinese-speaking workers, while a complex system has also been constructed to allow Bet365 to take bets in the Chinese renminbi currency.
The newspaper also said that of the £1.3 billion (€1.7 billion/$2.1 billion) won by gamblers in 2013, only half of this came from countries in which Bet365 is licensed and although this does not imply the rest was won in markets where the operator is not licensed, analysts suggest a large proportion came from the Chinese market.