Online Casinos that Accept Players from Hong Kong

Hong Kong permits only a few forms of gambling, and online casinos are not one of those forms. In fact, no casinos of any type are permitted. The closest casinos we have operate out of cruise ships that travel to international waters before opening their own on-board games. Back in the city, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has a near monopoly over the few forms of betting that are not prohibited.

Thus, the only Hong Kong casino sites we have access to are actually run by organizations in other countries with less restrictive gaming laws. But even when we look overseas, the options are limited due to many countries having positive relations with Hong Kong and thereby ordering their local casino sites not to accept customers from Hong Kong.

The good news is that there are still some reputable and trustworthy online casinos that accept Hong Kong residents. Each of the following online casinos would be happy to have your business and will treat you to a fair gaming experience. However, before you gambling online, we recommend that you read through this entire page. There are legal risks involved in visiting casino sites in Hong Kong.

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Are Hong Kong Casino Sites Legal?

Hong Kong does not permit online casinos and local authorities are proactive in attempting to squash all internet gambling. Hong Kong police have arrested hundreds of people for running illegal betting and gambling operations. Many of those arrested are involved in traditional street-level bookmaking, but an increasing number of underground operations are also involved in online gambling.

The Hong Kong government goes to great lengths to enforce its prohibition. They regularly post notices informing the public of the consequences and do actively prosecute those caught visiting online casinos in Hong Kong. And yes, that does include recreational gamblers.

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Those caught running illegal Hong Kong casino sites face severe punishments – as much as HK$5 million in fines and up to seven years’ imprisonment. Those caught visiting illegal gambling websites can be fined as much as HK$30,000 in fines and up to nine months’ imprisonment.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club also is quite active in the fight against unlawful online casinos. They work with the police to take action against illegal gambling organizations, the Ping Wo Fund to educate the people about the risks associated with gambling and assist in the treatment of gambling addiction.

Despite their efforts, Hong Kong authorities have had a tough time at accomplishing their objectives. In 2014, the Hong Kong Jockey Club estimated that Hong Kong residents lose HK$12 billion gambling online each year. And in 2016, police confiscated more than HK$580 million in betting records associated with the Euro-2016 football tournament in a single operation.

Enforcing prohibitions are always difficult, but stopping online gambling is especially difficult in Hong Kong. A large economy, nearly 75% internet penetration and a population that is in-tune with gambling due to the proximity of Macau and its glitzy casinos all combine to make the job very difficult for local police. Further complicating matters is the fact that Hong Kong values freedom of access to information so much that authorities are unwilling to block access to foreign casino websites.

Hong Kong gambling law states that all gambling is illegal unless it has a special exception from the government. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is currently the only entity authorized to offer any form of real money betting in Hong Kong. They are authorized to offer:

  • Horse racing betting
  • Mark Six lottery
  • Football betting

Nevertheless, people continue to gamble online in huge numbers in Hong Kong. Even the Hong Kong Jockey Club itself admits that overseas betting sites offer better incentives, better odds and more options than what the HKJC offers. Plenty of people are willing to take the worse odds in order to remain on the right side of the law, but many people are lured to offshore providers for these very reasons.

Online casinos have an even easier time attracting customers because there is absolutely zero competition inside Hong Kong. The cruise ships require quite a commitment and Macau is an hour away by ferry. Anyone interested in gambling the legal way basically has to set aside a full day. Meanwhile, Hong Kong casino sites can have people in the middle of the action in five minutes or less.

The one major concern with choosing to gamble online is the risk of getting in trouble. Hong Kong authorities claim they do bust people from time to time just for placing bets, but finding actual news reports of such arrests has proven extremely difficult.

To put a little perspective on just how many people gamble online in Hong Kong, the HKJC states that residents place HK$150 billion worth of wagers through authorized channels each, but more than twice that amount via offshore gambling websites. Furthermore, the HKJC claims one study found that more than 230,000 local residents visit online casinos and gambling sites every month.

Hong Kong Gambling Law

Lawmakers in Hong Kong attempt to strike a balance between avoiding the social ills caused by gambling with the fact that complete prohibition would only push the industry underground. Thus, they have chosen to legalize limited forms of gambling without going all the way and allowing everything.

This philosophy has culminated in two major pieces of legislation that lay the groundwork for today’s gambling environment in Hong Kong. The Betting Duty Ordinance specifically authorizes the Mark Six lottery, horse racing betting and football betting. The Betting Duty Ordinance also lays out the various rules in which authorized forms of gambling may take place, explains the conditions under which authorized gambling activities may take place and establishes the Betting and Lotteries Commission to oversee authorized gambling activities.

The Gambling Ordinance specifically outlaws every form of gambling not specifically authorized by the Betting Duty Ordinance. All punishments for violations of the law are laid forth in the Gambling Ordinance. Additionally, the Gambling Ordinance specifies that certain social gambling games are lawful under specific conditions (including that the game is not run for a profit).

It is the Gambling Ordinance that outlines the specific punishments for violations of the law. Of the various violations and penalties, the most important for us to note today are the following.

Participation in Unlawful Gambling

  • First Offense: $10,000 fine and 3 months’ imprisonment
  • Second Offense: $20,000 fine and 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Third or Subsequent Offense: $30,000 fine and 9 months’ imprisonment

Betting with a Bookmaker

Note: The law specifies that these penalties apply whether the bet is received within or outside Hong Kong

  • First Offense: $10,000 fine and 3 months’ imprisonment
  • Second Offense: $20,000 fine and 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Third or Subsequent Offense: $30,000 fine and 9 months’ imprisonment

Operating a Gambling Establishment or Bookmaking Business

  • Summary Conviction: $5,000,000 fine and 2 years’ imprisonment
  • Conviction on Indictment: $5,000,000 and 7 years’ imprisonment

Promoting or Facilitating Bookmaking

  • Summary Conviction: $5,000,000 fine and 2 years’ imprisonment
  • Conviction on Indictment: $5,000,000 and 7 years’ imprisonment