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Hong Kong – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The island nation of Hong Kong (HK) has managed to make a big name for itself since it’s independence from the UK back in 1997. Famed for its robust economy built on trading and investment banking, the country remains highly restricted when it comes to gambling activities, whether it is online or at a land-based venue. The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) currently holds somewhat of a monopoly on gambling thanks to its government authorization. The HKJC’s primary focus surrounds sports betting and lotteries, which leaves residents very little when it comes to table games and slots.
Gambling organizations are required to have authorization by the government to legitimately operate within the country. This accounts for websites and land-based establishments, however, due to a limitation of jurisdiction, the legislation does not extend to overseas operations. It is therefore surprisingly easy to find betting sites that allow Hong Kong residents. You should however be aware that highly restricted or unregulated markets generally attract black-market or illegitimate sites, due to the lack of legal recourse actionable by individuals. It is therefore highly recommended that you verify the integrity of any site you are waning to register with, which can be done by asking yourself a few questions, such as the ones below.
- Is the casino actively licensed?
- Does player feedback and reviews indicate the site is trustworthy?
- Are Hong Kong dollars a supported currency?
- Does the site feature Cantonese language options?
- Does the site include a sportsbook platform?
- Are there promotions available for Hong Kong residents?
Instead of doing all of the hard work yourself, why not let us take over. At GoodluckMate we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, presented in succinct and highly legible casino reviews and articles. This means that all of the research and fact-checking has already been done, freeing up the time for you to get straight into the action.
Both the provision and the participation of online gambling is highly illegal, meaning that there are no Honk Kong-based operations to be found. Organizations or individuals who are caught breaking this law can face up to seven years of prison time, as well as fines of up to five million HK dollars. The entities that do exist are only able to operate based on the government’s authorization, which it has placed firmly on the HKJC. This organization was built as a non-profit gambling authority that is required to spend the majority of its revenues on social welfare programs. These strict regulations have been part of Hong Kong law since the 1977 Gambling Ordinance, which was the piece of legislation that created the state-run monopoly currently part of the status-quo we still see today.
Localization is an important aspect of any website, as it showcases the organization’s commitment to its endeavors in a particular region while providing an elevated sense of comfort for its users. This costs time, money and resources though, meaning that sites will often look to providing localization options that can be as broadly applied as possible. Due to the strict regulations, as well as the relatively small usage of the HK dollar, localization options may not be as extensive for Hong Kong residents.
Despite the limited localization options available, you will still be able to find casinos that provide Cantonese language options, as well as HK dollar currency and payment method support. You may have to make a decision though, as to whether you want to pick a site that has great gaming features or one that has spent more effort on localization. It is only by freeing up legislation that most casinos will see Hong Kong localization as more of a viable option. Until then, there are still a selected group of online casinos available for Hong Kong players.
The issue with gambling with HK dollars is the same as the limitations on localization options. While there are still sites out there that provide a good choice of payment options and currency support, most sites will default to giving you euro or US dollar as an alternative. That is without mentioning the legalities of depositing and placing bets online. Banks tend to have strict policies in gambling restricted regions, leading to the monitoring of transactions that are suspected as being made towards betting sites. This is why many players opt to use E-wallets or cryptocurrencies to funds their betting habits, as this provides an alternative payment method that bypasses the need to involve the bank.
There are still plenty of betting activities to find around the nation. Horse tracks, betting agencies, casinos cruises and the lottery are all activities that residents can enjoy, mainly thanks to the HKJC. Sea-based establishments have also managed to take root, such as the nation’s largest; Silversea Shadow casino. The ship docks in Kai Tak city before departing to international waters where gameplay can open up. The main alternative for HK residents is to take a ferry to Macau, which is Asia’s bold response to America’s Las Vegas.
It cannot be stressed enough that players who are wanting to look for opportunities online will be doing so at their own risk. While you can minimize that risk by making yourself familiar with our site and reviews, it is still important to keep your wits about you. The laws in Honk Kong are very clear and until reforms are made, it is important that you are aware of what activities are considered illegal.