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.
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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.
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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.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.