Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Hong Kong – Lottery and more

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Picture of Hong Kong. Gambling is legal and regulated in Hong Kong.

Guide to Gambling in Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River Estuary and the South China Sea. With around 7.2 million inhabitants of various nationalities, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated metropolises. The region’s official languages are Chinese and English but Cantonese is a recognized national language too.

Hong Kong became a British colony after the First Opium War in 1842. The region remained under mostly British rule until 1997 (Japan occupied the territory during World War II for a couple of years). In 1997, the territory’s sovereignty was transferred to China. After this, Hong Kong became a special administrative region of China with a high level of autonomy under the rule of “one country, two systems”. Throughout the years, Hong Kong became one of the most important financial centers in the world alongside London and New York. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations also.

Gambling is legal and heavily regulated since the Gambling Ordinance of 1977 (was amended numerous times throughout the years, most recently in 2006).* Therefore, there are numerous land-based casinos throughout the region offering the most popular games like roulette, blackjack, or poker amongst others. The Hong Kong Jockey Club holds the exclusive rights to organize horse races, sports betting, and the lotteriesOnline gambling is considered illegal, though, but the government does not block foreign online casinos nor do they prosecute players for playing in them.

 

 

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*Gambling Ordinance

 

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Casino gambling in Hong Kong

 

Online casino gambling in Hong Kong: illegal, but players are not prosecuted

 

Land-based gambling is legal and regulated in Hong Kong since 1977. Therefore, there are numerous brick-and-mortar casinos across the region offering all kinds of casino games (blackjack, roulette, slot machines, poker, etc.). However, online gambling is considered illegal. The government does not block foreign gambling websites nor do they prosecute players for playing at them.

 

 

Bingo in Hong Kong

 

Online bingo in Hong Kong: illegal, but players are not prosecuted

 

Bingo is a quite popular game around the world, especially in the United States. It is a popular pastime activity in Hong Kong too as there are numerous bingo halls throughout the region where players can enjoy this fun little game. Online gambling is illegal, though, so there aren’t any domestic online bingo halls in Hong Kong. The government does not block foreign websites and players are not prosecuted for playing at an offshore online casino, though.

 

 

Poker in Hong Kong

 

Online poker in Hong Kong: illegal, but players are not prosecuted

 

Poker is quite possibly the most popular form of gambling in the world. The main reasons behind its ever growing popularity are the constant television broadcasts, regularly held tournaments, and the game’s competitive nature. Many would argue that poker involves a lot more skill than luck but in nature, it still counts as a form of gambling as it is mostly played in casinos to this day. Players from Hong Kong are allowed to play poker at numerous land-based establishments but playing online is prohibited. However, players are not prosecuted for playing online and the government does not block foreign gambling websites either.

 

Sports betting in Hong Kong

 

Online sports betting in Hong Kong: illegal with the exception of horse races and football matches

 

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling out there. It is very popular in Hong Kong too. The only forms of sports betting allowed are the betting on horse races and fixed odds football matches. The Hong Kong Jockey Club owns the exclusive rights to organize horse races and betting on football matches. The company offers sports betting online too. Players are not prosecuted for playing at an offshore online bookmaker, though, and the government does not block foreign online bookmakers either.

 

 

Lottery in Hong Kong

 

Online lottery in Hong Kong: monopoly of Hong Kong Jockey Club

The lottery is quite possibly the most common form of gambling in the world. The Hong Kong Jockey Club owns the exclusive rights to draw lotteries in the region. The company is a non-profit organization and the largest taxpayer in Hong Kong. The lottery along with some forms of sports betting is the only available form of gambling online, legally. However, the government does not block foreign gambling sites nor do they prosecute players for playing at them.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Hong Kong

 

Bitcoin gambling in Hong Kong: illegal, but players are not prosecuted

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a”cryptocurrency” first introduced in 2008. It quickly gained popularity worldwide as an alternative form of payment. It is still debated today that who exactly invented the currency under the moniker of “Satoshi Nakamoto”. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the currency and continues to gain popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. However, Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon so only just a handful of countries issued laws concerning it. Some countries consider Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway or Lithuania for example). The chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) had the same idea as he said that Bitcoin is only a virtual commodity and it won’t be regulated by the HKMA.* Bitcoin trades mostly occur via the internet which means that Bitcoin gambling technically a form of online gambling. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Bitcoin gambling is illegal in Hong Kong.

 

 

*Bitcoin is not regulated by HKMA (Chinese)

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2016.02.16.

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Simon's Guide to Gambling in Hong Kong - Lottery and more
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Simon's Guide to Gambling in Hong Kong - Lottery and more
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An overview of gambling's legal status in Hong Kong.
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