Chinese Skin Gambling Websites Find Ways to Bypass Strict Regulations and Flourish

In China, strict online gambling laws have led to the emergence of a new type of gambling website that uses strategic disguises to avoid regulatory scrutiny. These sites, known as “skin gambling” websites, have found ways to operate within the law while offering lucrative betting opportunities to users.

Skin gambling involves using virtual “skins” as currency for online gambling. These skins were originally customizable items for video game characters but have gained significant monetary value and are now being used for gambling on various online platforms.

Despite efforts by the Chinese government to crack down on online gambling, skin gambling platforms have largely evaded scrutiny. However, recent reports suggest that the authorities are ramping up efforts to address the challenges posed by these platforms in enforcing online gambling laws.

The skin gambling industry persists despite regulatory measures, with operators adapting their strategies to stay ahead of enforcement actions. A recent study delved into the operations of three leading Chinese skin gambling companies—VPgame, Max+, and C5game—to understand how they have managed to thrive despite legal restrictions. The study revealed that these companies have adopted clever disguises to portray themselves as legitimate entities within the realms of esports, gaming forums, and virtual item trading markets.

VPgame, for example, has positioned itself as an integral part of the booming esports industry in China, offering a range of esports-related services alongside its skin gambling platform. Max+ has masqueraded as a popular gaming forum, attracting users with its extensive discussions on gaming while covertly facilitating skin gambling activities. Similarly, C5game operates as a virtual item trading market, allowing users to buy and sell game skins while still facilitating skin gambling through jackpot-style events.

Despite the success of these strategic disguises, the full extent of the skin gambling industry in China remains uncertain. Further research is needed to comprehensively understand the landscape of skin gambling websites and their operations within the country.