Online casinos accepting players from Hong Kong
Asia has turned into a massive marketplace for the online gambling industry, with millions of potential players and just as many chances of success. That is why, this territory has always had an appeal for the operators and providers alike.
And with players having a history of gambling activities dating back to ancient times and traditional games, it was only a matter of time before it turned into the next gambling oasis.
Rather than just a figure of speech…
… this turned out to be a fact, especially with Macau surpassing the Las Vegas revenues for long periods over time.
Despite expected turbulences in the market…
… as it is common for an industry as based on luck and chance as this one, Asia still retains its favorable climate. Nevertheless, even though it covers a vast area, there is no room for generalization, as each Asian country, as well as autonomous regions, is known to have built their own unique approach.
As a matter of fact…
… the autonomous city of Hong Kong is a notable example of one of the many ways that governments can regulate land-based and online gambling.
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Online Gambling Laws in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is…
… an independent area of China, and as such, has imposed its own set of regulations regarding gambling. The fact that the locals share a long-standing wealth of games and similar entertainment did not impede them in the process of regulating and banning today’s gambling establishments.
As it stands…
… the current legislation prohibits most forms of casino and gambling activities, both land-based and online. A state-regulated monopoly has been set up for horserace betting, football and other sportsbetting, and lottery gambling, provided both through land-based and digital platforms.
These services are provided by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, currently the only legal operator for Hong Kong residents. It was established back in the 80s, following the initial passing of the legislation currently applicable for the industry. Since then, it has been operating as a mostly non-profit organization, returning most of the revenue incurred back to the community through funding projects.
In 1977, the government passed…
… the Gambling Ordinance, which officially defined allowed and prohibited forms of betting.
Later on, in 2002, with the advent of online gambling platforms across the Internet, the government responded with another law – the Gambling Amendment Ordinance. Its wording restricted any offshore gambling providers from legally offering their services to the local people, and made the punishments for legal disobedience all the more precise.
As of then…
… anyone caught engaging in any of the illegal activities as defined by the law would face fines ranging from HK $10,000 to HK $30,000, as well as imprisonment for up to 9 months. What is more, anyone who has been working for or facilitating offshore online operators in their services would also be subject to penalties, including a HK $5 million and jail for up to 7 years.
Such restrictive and stringent regulations have put off state-wide businesses from risking their capital and freedom, leaving the market up to the offshore operators willing to step in.
… residents of Hong Kong are exclusively able to place online bets on football and several other sports options, as well as horseracing. They can also purchase lottery tickets through the digital platform, but that is about all there is of legal online gambling.
Still, some variants have also been made available for Mahjong and poker enthusiasts. According to the letter of the law, players can participate in Mahjong clubs, as well as enjoy poker table action at some private premises. The latter has only been made possible due to the classification of poker as a game of skill and knowledge rather than luck, allowing it to evade the restrictive policies.
… casino gaming appears to be a neglected variant as of yet, even though there are some ship-based options providing locals with some much-needed action. Depending on geographic proximity, many players alternately choose to visit the extensive gameplay options at Macau
Hong Kong Online Casinos
With all the restrictions…
… punitive measures and potential risks involved, there is still an element of lenience towards offshore operators who refuse to give up on the market. In fact, there has even been an official announcement by the Home Affairs Bureau back in 2014. They claimed that they would not demand ISPs or other services to block the residents’ access to such platforms, indirectly translating to a discreet pass for operators.
And with such a decree in place…
… the player pool has more than benefited from a range of top international online casino and gambling platforms, sportsbooks and the likes. These sites are based out and regulated by foreign jurisdictions, allowing them to operate free from the local restrictions. As long as you make sure that the casino of your choice is licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction, you should be able to enjoy top-notch gambling.
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Games at Hong Kong Online Casinos
Players at these online casino sites are able to enjoy a wide range of game variants from many popular software providers. Naturally, some will include more than others, and players may need to shop around before finding an online casino that meets all their gambling needs, but with software from the likes of these, it is bound to be worth it:
Each of these game developers subjects their games to independent testing and audits, in order to ensure their clients of the products’ reliability. With unbiased RNGs, as well as actual dealers and card decks keeping the game fair, and extensive security to prevent misuse of players’ bets, they are able to enjoy all the following game categories:
- Sic Bo;
- Dragon Tiger;
- Video Poker;
- Live Dealer;
- Horserace betting;
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One of the latest trends…
… in online gambling nowadays is the ability to access all the gambling content you want anywhere on the go. With the increased functionalities of portable devices – smartphones and tablets both – this is an option for most players nowadays. And with some of the top ranking brands in the industry offering their services to the Hong Kong player pool, the same applies here.
A large portion of Hong Kong online casinos offer their players the chance to download an app dedicated for their device’s operative system. Most of the time, they include Android and iOS apps, matching your Android-powered phones and tablets, as well as iPhones and iPads.
Another option for operators is to design a mobile-compatible instant play version of their desktop site. It allows players to access the platforms straight from the web browser apps on their devices, without cluttering it with additional software.
Hence, players are able to enjoy all the regular services from the comfort of their home, and on the move, as long as they have a stable Internet connection.
Hong Kong Online Casino Banking & Payment Methods
These online casinos...
... are able to attract the Hong Kong player pool, as well as other international target audiences through their diverse themes, gameplay offerings, and equally importantly – banking. It is known for a fact that one of the top considerations for a successful online gambling session is the convenience of the banking process.
Suitable, localized and affordable payment processors will incite players to perform more transactions at the casino, increasing player traffic. At the same time, smooth payments instil a deeper sense of reliability of the operator as a whole, while speedy processing times are the final touch to an impeccable banking service.
Since Hong Kong players to abide by restrictive legislation, their choices are bound to be narrower than those of other marketplaces. Still, they need to meet the standards for security, convenience, accessibility and above all, affordability.
Having all this in mind...
... players from Hong Kong most often opt for standard payment methods, including credit cards from well-known brands Visa and MasterCard. E-wallets and modern payment processors are also an option for this player pool, with Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney and more being part of the selection. Crypto tokens – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin – are also a possibility, although it depends on the casino’s specific policies.
1. Does Hong Kong legislation impose taxes on gambling?
- Yes, Hong Kong has very precise tax rates for gambling, depending on the game. According to the Betting Duty Amendment Bill from 2006, net stake receipts of the first HK $11 billion are taxed at 72.5% rate, with each additional billion increasing the rate by 0.5%, and a cap at 75%. Receipts from football bets are taxed at a fixed rate of 50%, lotteries need to pay 25% of their proceeds, and cash sweeps pay 30% of the turnover.
2. Are the same tax policies applicable for winnings at offshore online casinos?
- Due to the different regulations applicable for these casinos, you are best off consulting a legal expert for your place of residence. Since Hong Kong doesn’t have local licensed operators, neither permits this activity on the platform, it would most likely seem that winnings from such activities are not regulated by law.
3. What kinds of bonuses will I be able to claim as a Hong Kong-based player?
- Just because players from Hong Kong are accessing offshore sites doesn’t mean that they aren’t entitled to the benefits. In fact, many casinos will offer the whole bonus range, starting from No Deposit bonuses, Welcome packages and deposit-match offers, all in order to attract a wider player pool.
4. Could I deposit funds in my national currency, the HK dollar?
- This will depend on the casino’s terms, but it is advisable to look for an operator that will accept transactions in your local currency in order to avoid being charged exchange fees.
5. Is the game selection fitted to meet the needs of the HK player pool?
- The game selection is wide and varied, and most of all provided by top developers. As a result, they include titles from all major categories, as well as themes that match the specific preferences of the player pool. Some casinos could additionally include Asia-themed slots, table games or entire live dealer casino floors, as well as unique titles such as Sic Bo, Dragon Tiger, or even Mahjong.
6. What kind of customer service and support are we looking at?
- Most casinos nowadays offer constant 24/7 customer service for their international player pool. The Hong Kong operators normally aim to include multiple language options as well, and provide support through several contact channels – email, phone, live chat or a FAQ knowledgebase.
7. Is there a demo version available at these HK online casinos?
- Yes, thanks to the fact that they are predominantly equipped by top software providers, these casinos offer a demo version for their potential players. Most of the time, you don’t have to sign up or verify your identity, although once you get a hang of the casino mechanics, the whole registration process shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
8. How long does transaction processing take at these platforms?
- The deposits at Hong Kong online casinos keep up with industry standards, and manage to provide instant funding of player accounts just to get them playing as soon as possible. As for withdrawals, there are several factors that affect the wait time – the casino protocol, the chosen payment processor, currency availability, verification procedures and more. At the moment, modern e-wallet services seem to have the speediest transactions, although crypto is definitely setting the bar higher.
9. I searched for my online casino’s app on the Google Play Store, but couldn’t find it. Where can I download it?
- Google Play Store does not allow real money online gambling apps to be shared through its platforms. As a result, most operators tend to offer a direct download link to the app straight from their website, or alternately will send you a link upon submitting a request to the customer support.
10. What are some guidelines to finding the top online casino option for Hong Kong players?
- All the information you have learned so far regarding online casinos can serve as helpful guidelines to making the right choice. Everything from reputable licensing authorities, through fair games, secure payment methods, all the way to generous bonuses is a useful consideration for this player pool.
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