Is Gambling Illegal in Hong Kong?

gambling hong kongGambling is a very polarizing topic. Some people detest it like it’s one of the original sins. Some recognizes its more redeeming qualities. For one, gambling is just a way to have fun and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. It is also a way for enterprising individuals, organizations and governments to generate much needed cash.

Of course, unregulated “fun” is a very dangerous concept. Anything that is unbridled will most likely result into adverse repercussions. Gambling is within this philosophical ambit.

Gambling Law in Hong Kong

The immediate preceding paragraph of this article seems to be the guiding notion when Hong Kong enacted their current gambling law. That law is called the Gambling Ordinance. This law was enacted and took effect on 1977. It is still the effective law as of the moment.

The framers of the law perceived both the ill effects and the concomitant positive outcomes of allowing gambling to continue its existence within the city limits. The framers saw that excessive gambling is detrimental to the Hong Kong populace.

Unbridled gambling would cause the wanton spending of money by those who seek to find joy through gambling. This would cause individuals, if left unchecked, to lose large amount of of money. This could cause poverty and lives would be under the control of debts heaped from gambling losses. Gamblers would then resort to borrowing and more gambling to pay their debts. This would lead to a downward spiral that can trap people.

However, as stated above, the framers of the Gambling Ordinance are not blind to the positive effects of allowing gambling inside the city limits. For one, gambling is a kind of entertainment that has been ingrained upon its citizens for centuries of not more. Banning it altogether may cause unrest at most or resentment at least. Gambling is also a source of revenue, be it for private entities or for the Hong Kong Government as taxes.

More importantly, outright banning of gambling may boost the hold of possible shadowy syndicates. These syndicates may exploit the lack of legitimate gambling organizations and erect their own.

As such, gambling is very much alive and in Hong Kong. The gambling industry, however, is under strict regulations in order to regulate it and prevent excessive gambling.

Do’s and Don’ts

There are only a few gambling outlets that are authorized by the Hong Kong. This is in keeping with the policy discussed above. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has monopoly on football matches, horse races and lotteries.

Gambling outlets who uses bookmakers are not allowed in the Hong Kong area. A bookmaker is an individual or group who mainly deals with horse races (although other events are also well represented in this spectrum). Both the gambled and the bookmaker deals with predetermined odds.

Mahjong and other social gambling types are also permitted inside the law provided that the establishments used do not promote gambling.

Casinos

Hong Kong Casino

Casinos are pretty much legal inside Hong Kong. In fact, giant casino gambling facilities are located inside the city limits. These so called “cities” are well known for their immense amount of gambling prowess allowing said casinos to generate sufficient income, enabling them to continue giving top notch service.

Online casinos have also started sprouting up in order to harness the limitless possibilities that the internet has afforded.

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