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Is online gambling coming to mainland China?

"Richelle Defazio" (2019-07-26)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Gambling. China. There are two words that will make any ordinary web entrepreneur salivate.

RiXUTMy.jpgThe People's Republic is considering legalizing online gambling, according to Tony Tong, CEO of Pacific Net, which sells Baccarat machines. The government would likely license companies to establish themselves in Macau, already a casino capital.

The government now takes significant portions, around 40 percent, of the house winnings in Macau. Spreading gambling online would be a huge boon to government revenues.

GigaMedia, which sells software for poker and other games, is hoping to expand in China as well. The company's FunTown site is already the largest Mahjong site in the world: players play for points and prizes. Over 50 percent of its subscribers spend over 100 hours on the site a week. GigaMedia is also behind EverestPoker, a rapidly growing poker site in Europe. (GigaMedia also runs an online gaming blog in Taiwan called Wretch, which qualifies as one of those odd company names.

The U.K. will likely become a center for online gaming, a GigaMedia representative said.

Pacific Net's Baccarat machines, by the way, aren't your ordinary computerized gaming machines. Chinese gamblers don't like random number (and card ) generators. Instead, the machines stream video of a live dealer dealing live hands.

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