Taiwan are pretty strict when it comes to gambling laws both online and offline. Right now the majority of forms of gambling are illegal.
However there are no specific laws that relate to online gambling which means it’s a bit of a free for fall for both residents and operators – good news for players as that means plenty of choice and the absolute best options are happy to allow you to play.
Check out everything you need to know about online betting in Taiwan below and where possible we’ll list sites which accept Taiwanese players… although they are few and far between.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Taiwan
- Criminal code dictates that all but some very specific types of gambling are illegal.
- Some punishments set out in code quite harsh (two years in jail for professional gambling).
- Uniform Invoice Lottery, the Public Welfare Lottery, the Sports Lottery and Mah-jong legal.
- No specific laws governing online play.
- Taiwanese can use overseas betting sites but legality a grey area.
Taiwan Betting Sites:
The following is a list of the best betting sites for residents of Taiwan:
Gambling Laws and Legislation Timeline
Gambling law in Taiwan is amongst the most clear-cut and simple in the world. The following brief timeline of the country’s legislation in the area should explain it fully:
1935 – Criminal Code
In 1935, the Criminal Code of the Republic of China came into force in Taiwan and in amended form, remains the country’s criminal code to this day. The comparatively short Chapter 21 of the code deals with gambling and sets out the country’s legal position very clearly. That chapter states that gambling in a public place, gambling as an occupation, the provision to others of a place to gamble and the operation of an unauthorised lottery are all criminal offences. It also sets down the potential punishments for each of those offences, which are both harsh and routinely enforced.
1951 – The Uniform Invoice Lottery Act
The first form of gambling to be legalised in Taiwan was the Uniform Invoice Lottery, which was created in 1951. Under the terms of the Uniform Invoice Lottery Act, businesses with a monthly turnover above a certain amount must include a lottery number on their receipts to customers at point of sale. The winning receipt numbers are then announced by the Ministry of Finance in odd numbered months. The lottery remains active to this day.
2002 – The Public Welfare Lottery Issue Act
The Public Welfare Lottery Issue Act of 2002 created Taiwan’s second legal lottery. Unlike the Uniform Invoice Lottery, this lottery works in the more traditional fashion of requiring participants to purchase tickets for various different draws.
2008 – The Sports Lottery Issuance Act
The 2008 Sports Lottery Issuance Act authorised the creation and operation of the organisation known as the Taiwan Sports Lottery. That organisation offers the only legal sports betting in the country, both online and at land-based establishments. Types of bet provided for include point spread handicaps, match winner, point total, margin of victory, and “prop bets” on various events. Odds provided by this organisation, however, are notoriously poor.
2009 – Amendment to the Offshore Islands Development Act
An amendment to the Offshore Islands Development Act passed in 2009, stated that casinos could be built and operated on the offshore territories of Taiwan, if over 50% of the local populace supported their establishment in a referendum. To date in 2016, however, no such establishments have been approved let alone opened.
Do Players Get Taxed On Winnings?
The few forms of gambling which are legal in Taiwan are provided in order to raise funds for the country’s welfare state and for sports development. As such, there is a legal framework set out for how profits from the various lotteries are doled out between different organisations and programmes. The aforementioned framework limits the amount of turnover from the lotteries which can be returned as winnings but there are no further taxes levied on those winnings.
When it comes to winnings garnered through the use of illegal overseas gambling providers, meanwhile, there is obviously no mechanism by which taxes can be collected. There are very real mechanisms, however, by which punters can be – and routinely are – prosecuted for committing what is a definitive criminal offence.
Online Deposit Options & Methods
Online gambling is illegal for Taiwanese citizens and is punishable by law. That being said, however, many Taiwanese nationals do still bet and gamble through unauthorised overseas based providers.
In an attempt to avoid the legal repercussions which this can lead to, these punters do not routinely deposit by easily recognisable methods such as bank transfer or debit and credit card payments. Instead they use e-wallet services such as Skrill or other electronic methods including Entropay, to deposit in a manner which affords a greater degree of secrecy.
In fact Taiwanese credit and debit cards are not accepted at online betting sites so an e-wallet is your only real solution.