Report of the Law Reform Committee on Online Gaming and Singapore
reported that the Hong Kong Jockey Club contributes about 10% of the Hong Kong government’s tax revenue. 148
Overview of Gambling Ordinance (“GO”)
The Gambling Ordinance (Amendment) Ordinance 2002 was enacted
specifically to cover gambling over the Internet. Under the amended Gambling Ordinance (“GO”), all gambling activities are unlawful except when expressly exempted or authorised by the Government.149 The sole authorised domestic operator is
the Hong Kong Jockey Club.150
The definition of “gambling” includes gaming,151
betting and bookmaking.152
“Bookmaking” is specifically defined as including the Internet as a means through which such activity can be done. 153
Any person, other than the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who operates gambling
establishments or assists in the operation of gambling establishment commits an offence.154 A person who engages in bookmaking commits an offence, including persons who receive bets from persons outside Hong Kong.155 It is also an offence to
bet with a bookmaker.
Accordingly, the GO prohibits the operation of Internet gambling services
See Rob Deans, “Legislative Developments in Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Fights Back”, 7 Gaming L Rev 323 (October 2003) at 323–327.
GO, s 3.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club operates pari-mutuel betting on horseracing, fixed odds and pari-mutuel betting on football and the Mark Six lottery. See PP de Sena, “Internet Gambling Prohibition in Hong Kong: Law and Policy” (2008) HKLJ 453.
“Gaming” is defined very widely as the playing of or at any game for winnings in money or other property whether or not any person playing the game is at risk of losing any money or other property. “Game” is in turn defined as “a game of chance and a game of chance and skill combined and a pretended game of chance or chance and skill combined, and also means any game whatever in which (a) a bank is kept by one or more of the players exclusively of the others; or (b) the chances of the game are not equally favourable to all the players, including among the players, the banker or other person by whom the game is managed or against whom the players stake, play or bet”.
GO, s 2.
“Bookmaking” is defined as the “soliciting, receiving, negotiating or settling of a bet by way of trade or business whether personally or by letter, telephone, telegram or online medium (including the service commonly known as the Internet) or by any other means”: GO, s 2.
154 155 156
GO, s 5. GO, s 7. GO, s 8.