Wondering about the legality of betting in Hong Kong? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this Hong Kong betting guide, we touch upon betting laws, the best Hong Kong betting sites, and other useful information such as banking methods and tips.

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Online betting in Hong Kong can be a complex matter. On one hand, all gambling activities there are monopolised by a single, state-owned company, rendering all other forms of betting illegal. However, despite the strict regulations, illegal betting continues to thrive significantly within the region.

Moreover, if you want to bet with the Hong Kong Jockey's Club – the state-owned organisation – we have some bad news for you: they only offer horse racing, football, and lotteries, which amounts to slim pickings for any punter. As a result, most bettors in Hong Kong look for alternatives that allow for a greater variety of choice.

If you want to gamble somewhere in Hong Kong that isn't owned by the government, you can go to a Mahjong school. These are arcades where you can play, watch, and bet on the popular tile-based game, Mahjong, which is the only form of gambling that isn't controlled by the state.

Under the current law, punters can only bet online through the Hong Kong Jockey’s Club, a non-profit organisation that holds a government-granted monopoly on all gambling activities. It is the largest taxpayer in Hong Kong, and donates billions of HKD to the community on a yearly basis.

Currently, it is illegal for any offshore companies to offer their services in Hong Kong and for players to wager with them. Representatives from illegal betting companies could face a maximum penalty of HK$5 million (~ £496,000) and imprisonment of up to seven years, while players who participate in illegal gambling are subject to a maximum fine of HK$30,000 (~ £3,000) and prison time of up to nine months. Unsurprisingly, most – but not all – leading bookies play it safe, and don’t allow players from Hong Kong to register.

Offshore Bookies

Despite these stern laws, tens of thousands of Hongkongers still flock to offshore betting sites in search of greater betting odds, wider markets, and more generous promotions. It is estimated that a mammoth HK$12 billion (~ £1,190,399,264) flows through the illegal betting market per annum, with offshore bookmakers playing a substantial role in this figure. Clearly, the Hong Kong authorities haven’t succeeded in blocking these sites from penetrating the market.

In summary, betting through offshore sites – even if a little risky – is your best option in Hong Kong. Even so, be sure to consider all the factors mentioned below when choosing a betting site. In this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you do decide to take the offshore bookmaker route, keep in mind that this comes with a set of risks. Aside from the fact that you’ll be breaking the law, any online sportsbook you visit will be unregulated and unlicensed by the Hong Kong authorities. This means that it’s especially important you sign up with an operator with a proven track record of security and reliability.

We ensure that every bookie we recommend holds a remote operating licence from the UK Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry. Licences from other organisations, such as the The Malta Gaming Authority and The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, are also good indications that an operator won't take you for a ride and can be trusted. We also suggest looking at bookmaker reviews from multiple sources to get an insight into how a bookmaker treats its customers.

Hong Kong Betting Tips to Remember

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In more positive news, winnings are not currently subject to income tax in Hong Kong.

There are numerous ways for Hong Kong residents to transfer money in and out of their betting accounts. Credit cards are popular, with multinational corporations like Visa, Mastercard, and UnionPay being accepted by several bookies.

E-wallets are also widely used in this part of the world, with the most prevalent brands being Alipay, a mobile payment method, and MyCard Wallet, allowing users to make quick, secure payments online. Other international names such as PayPal, NETELLER, and Skrill are also available.

Cryptocurrency betting has taken the world by storm and Hong Kong is no exception. International bookmakers support many different crypto coins, with up to 50 different options to choose from across our recommended bookies above.

Of course, these payment methods will vary from site to site, as will withdrawal times. We recommend you take check all of these factors beforehand, which you can usually find within the site's terms and conditions or in their FAQ/Help section.

Also known as in-play betting, live betting is available through the bookmakers we have listed above, as well as the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The latter offers a Live Centre for its Football section which, at the time of writing, greets you with a bright blue banner informing you of recent upgrades: animated live action, live predictions, and live odds. Click on the ‘In Play Analysis' tab, and you'll find a similar banner, containing a ‘Watch For Free' button that will take you to a different screen displaying upcoming matches and events, as well as their kick-off times.

Live betting has become a standard feature of online betting, allowing punters to watch and place bets on their favourite sports in real time. As such, it's no surprise that it's offered by most bookmakers these days.

Livestreaming

A highly useful feature for any punter, livestreaming offered by a bookmaker allows you to watch a live event and place bets on the same platform, making it highly convenient.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club provides a free livestreaming service to its members for selected horse racing events, which registered users can access through the site or mobile app. Additionally, some licensed football betting sites may offer livestreaming services for soccer and football events, which you can access after placing a bet on the event.

It's important to note that not all online bookmakers or sports events may offer livestreaming; furthermore, certain broadcasts may be subject to geographical restrictions and licensing agreements. Therefore, it's essential to check with the specific bookmaker or sports event to see if livestreaming is available and if there are any conditions or fees associated with accessing the service.

The good news? All three sites listed here on this page offer livestreaming.

As mentioned in the introduction, it is not easy to start betting in Hong Kong – unless you're comfortable with the regulated bookmaker. If you plan to use a non-regulated provider, there are a few aspects to consider.

Firstly, make sure that the website is safe and secure – usually this is already the case with international bookmakers. Secondly, make sure that players residing in Hong Kong have access to the site. If this isn't the case, it is advisable to find a VPN-friendly betting site. Competitive odds are key here. The Jockey's Club odds are not favourable, so finding a site with better odds is a must.

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    The sites we have selected all fit this description perfectly. If you use one of our suggested sites, you can save yourself all the preliminary work. Nevertheless, we recommend that you take a close look at each site to find out which one is best for you.

Creating an account

Setting up an account with one of these Hong Kong betting sites is just as easy as in the UK and follows more or less the same procedure. In some cases, you can even complete a quick registration where you are instantly given a username and password so you can start betting straight away.

Football is the biggest and most popular sport in Hong Kong, largely due to the region's period under British rule. As one of only two legal sports to bet on, it is very popular with both participants and spectators. The Premier League has a large fan base in Hong Kong, as it does in many other Asian countries.

Horse racing also has a considerable following in Hong Kong, with reports stating it generates the largest racing gambling turnover in the world. In fact, the region itself is one of the few places where the number of new bets on horse racing is increasing rather than decreasing.

Other sports, including badminton, basketball, and esports, also attract huge numbers of followers and punters alike.

A betting site wouldn't be the same without a welcome bonus, would it? That's why we're happy to report that all three betting sites recommended above all offer first-time promotions for new bettors.

Each of these sites have a 100% matched first deposit bonus up for grabs – an excellent incentive for any punter looking to double their stake from the get-go. The main difference lies in the amounts each site offers, which we've detailed in the breakdown below.

OperatorMax. DepositMin. Deposit
1xBet1000 HKD (£106.11)8 HKD (£0.85)
Melbet840 HKD (£89.13)10 HKD (£1.06)
BETWINNER837 HKD (£88.82)8 HKD (£0.85)

Currently, punters can only legally bet through the Hong Kong Jockey Club, a non-profit organisation that holds a monopoly over the gambling sector. Mahjong schools are the only other legal gambling operators.

It is illegal for gambling companies to offer their services to players in Hong Kong, and for players to gamble with these companies. However, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers still gamble online using offshore betting sites.

Yes, some do, with one example being 1xBet.

Betting abroad can often be more complex than punters initially think. This is the case in Hong Kong, where there are a set of risks that you need to be wary of. We’re not here to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t bet, but if you decide to, what we will do is advise you to do it safely and smartly. In places like these, where the online gambling market is unregulated, you can’t just sign up willy-nilly and hope for the best. Do the necessary research to ensure a safe and secure gambling experience.

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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