Hong Kong Set to Allow Online Gambling
While we bicker back and forth, state by state, on whether to allow online gambling, the rest of the world – most of it, anyway – is going forward with their plan to legalize it.
The latest to move forward with that plan is Hong Kong. Singapore has said that they plan to prevent its citizens from gambling online. However, a spokesman with the Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau was quoted by Chinese press outlets as saying that Hong Kong plans exactly the opposite – they’re going to allow online gambling, and that they “[Respect] freedom to access information” and will not block Internet access, including access to online gambling.
It’s worth noting that neither country has a significant amount of residents. Singapore currently stands at 5.47 million residents, while Hong Kong has 7.188 million residents. However, it’s not about how many residents there are, it’s about how much money they spend.
The estimates in Hong Kong say that they lose about HK$12b, or roughly $154 million USD, annually to gambling online. Illegal soccer betting totals HK$500b, which converts to a staggering $64 billion USD, and that was in 2013 alone. After looking at those numbers, it’s easy to see why they want to push forward with legalization and regulation.
If Hong Kong regulates online gambling, it could potentially serve as an example for everyone around the world. Can you imagine states generating billions of dollars? Keep in mind that Hong Kong has five and a half million less residents than the entire state of Pennsylvania. Early estimates suggest that Pennsylvania could raise a little more than $100 million annually – that’s 0.001% of what Hong Kong generates on soccer alone. What’s even more mind blowing is that the $64 billion Hong Kong generates from illegal soccer betting, if the same number of people were to bet on a regulated site, would be without any sort of no deposit bonus or promotion. That number would jump significantly higher if the site was running a promotion.
If the numbers translate and Hong Kong generates billions of dollars annually, not only will it improve every corner of Hong Kong, it’ll make lawmakers in the United States eager to jump on the bandwagon. Who can honestly say no to billions of extra dollars with a minimal amount of work?
If and when Hong Kong allows for legalized, regulated gambling online, it’ll be interesting to see the numbers that they post and how it changes things around the world, and it’ll be especially interesting to see how it’d change things or improve Hong Kong. We have a feeling it’ll leave many people, both in the United States and in other countries worldwide, kicking themselves for not legalizing and regulating online gambling much sooner.