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What is the Legality and History of Gambling in Hong Kong SAR?

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What is the Legality and History of Gambling in Hong Kong SAR?

Gambling has an interesting history in the Hong Kong Special Administrative region (HKSAR). Its legal status has evolved over the decades, as various governments have looked upon gambling differently. As a territory of China, Hong Kong’s gambling laws are now heavily influenced by mainland China’s policy on you gambling activities. Here, we look at the history and legality of gambling in HKSAR.

History of Gambling in Hong Kong

Gambling activities have taken place in Hong Kong since settlers first began to populate the area centuries ago. Back then, gambling was used as an means of entertaining entertainment, as well as to make money. In the 19th century, a lottery was officially introduced to fund local hospitals and schools. By the beginning of the 20th Century, many forms of gambling had become popular among the local community – although gambling was still subject to some legal restrictions.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club was established in 1884 and received a royal charter to operate horse racing and betting activities, while operations began in 1884. This became a major part of the local economy and by 1950 the Jockey Club had become a major employer in the SAR. Today the Jockey Club still plays a major role in the territory’s economy and betting industry.

Legality of Gambling in Hong Kong SAR

Today all forms of traditional gambling, such as casino games, bingo and lotteries, are illegal in HKSAR. Although horse racing and sports betting are legal and heavily regulated by the government – primarily through the Hong Kong Jockey Club – these activities are subject to some restrictions.

In 2014, the SAR government introduced legislation that effectively outlawed online gambling, including online poker and online casinos. The new law banned all forms of virtual gambling for those who are physically located in Hong Kong. Furthermore, this new law also enabled government agencies to block access to unauthorised websites offering online gambling services.

The Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance was passed in 2019, and this also banned any company or individual from facilitating financial transactions related to unauthorised virtual gaming services. All banks and financial institutions that operate in HKSAR are now required to follow the new regulations on virtual gaming.


Gambling has an interesting history in HKSAR, with various governments having looked upon different forms of gambling differently at different times. Today, many traditional forms of gambling are still illegal, although horse racing and sports betting are available in limited form. Furthermore, online gambling has been banned since 2014 and is heavily regulated by the government. It is important for potential gamblers to understand the restrictions and for companies to follow the laws imposed on virtual gambling services. For more information about gaming laws in the territory, you can visit the Hong Kong government website.

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Hong Kong SAR: Local Attractions, Dining Spots, Culture, History, and Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

Hong Kong SAR is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. It is a top travel destination for tourists from all over the world. Whether you are a foodie looking to indulge in delicious delicacies, a culture vulture looking to explore the city’s heritage sites, or an adventure seeker looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, Hong Kong offers something for everyone. In this Insider’s Guide, we will highlight some of the must-see attractions and experiences in the city.

Local Attractions

Victoria Peak: The Victoria Peak provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Take the Peak Tram, one of the oldest funiculars in the world, to the top of the Peak and soak in the stunning views.

Hong Kong Disneyland: Located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland offers visitors a chance to experience a magical world where fairy tales come to life. The park is filled with thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and various other attractions that cater to visitors of all ages.

Tian Tan Buddha: The Tian Tan Buddha is a majestic statue of Buddha that is situated on Lantau Island. The statue stands at a height of 112 feet, and visitors can climb up to its base to take a closer look. It’s a spiritual experience that many tourists find awe-inspiring.

Dining Spots

Tim Ho Wan: Tim Ho Wan is a Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant that serves mouth-watering delicacies such as baked barbecue pork buns, steamed rice rolls, and spicy dumplings. It’s a popular spot for tourists, so arrive early to avoid waiting times.

Luk Yu Tea House: Enjoy a traditional tea experience at the Luk Yu Tea House. Established in 1933, the tea house exudes a sense of old-world charm, and it offers a cozy ambiance that’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon tea.

Little Bao: Little Bao is a trendy restaurant that serves a fusion of Asian and Western cuisine. Their signature dish is the pork belly bao, a soft bun filled with succulent pork belly and crunchy pickles, making it seem like an exotic version of a Western hamburger.

Cultural Experiences

Lan Kwai Fong: Lan Kwai Fong is a famous district in Hong Kong, known for its nightlife and entertainment. You can expect to find a plethora of bars, clubs, and restaurants that are especially popular among international visitors.

The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery: Located on Lantau Island, the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are popular spiritual sites. The bronze Buddha stands at 202 feet tall, and visitors can climb up 268 steps to reach the Buddha’s base. The monastery is an idyllic location for a peaceful escape from the city’s busy vibes.

Hong Kong Museum of History: The Hong Kong Museum of History chronicles the city’s history from the prehistoric era to the colonial period and includes galleries showcasing different aspects of Hong Kong’s culture and daily life.

Local History

The Star Ferry: The Star Ferry is one of Hong Kong’s oldest forms of transport, connecting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It’s a culturally significant mode of transport that has been in operation for more than a century, and offers visitors a chance to experience Hong Kong’s history from the water.

Old Town Central: Old Town Central is a district that showcases the city’s heritage and colonial past. You can find numerous heritage sites and museums, including the historic PMQ (Police Married Quarters), now a cultural hub for the city’s creative community.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

Dragon’s Back Trail: Hong Kong SAR offers several hiking opportunities, with the Dragon’s Back Trail being the most famous one. It’s a moderately challenging 5.3-mile hike that offers breathtaking views of the city’s coastline.

Hong Kong Wetland Park: The Hong Kong Wetland Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the city’s biodiversity and wetland ecology. The park has a variety of interactive exhibits, boardwalks, and bird hides that allow visitors to observe the flora and fauna of Hong Kong.

Wong Chuk Hang: Wong Chuk Hang is an up-and-coming district in Hong Kong, known for its street art and abundance of contemporary galleries. You can also find several food and drink options, making it an excellent alternative to visit instead of the crowded and touristy areas in Hong Kong.

Final Thoughts

Hong Kong SAR offers a wide range of experiences for tourists, with something to suit every taste. The city’s history and culture are rich, and its local attractions are worth visiting. Its dining options are often unique and can’t be found in any other parts of the world. Lastly, its off-the-beaten-path suggestions showcase Hong Kong’s natural beauty and contemporary development, making it a destination that caters to all types of travelers.

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What is the Legality and History of Gambling in Hong Kong SAR?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!