What Are The Most Popular Sports To Bet on in Hong Kong?

In the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, sports betting is a popular pastime that combines excitement, competition, and the potential for financial rewards. As one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities with a rich cultural history, Hong Kong offers a diverse range of sports to bet on from both Eastern and Western origins.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the most popular sports for punters in Hong Kong – including horse racing, football (soccer), basketball, badminton and tennis – as well as exploring how the region’s unique historical influences have shaped its vibrant gambling scene.

Key Takeaways

  • Horse racing is the most popular sport to bet on in Hong Kong, with two main racecourses attracting large crowds and generating significant betting activity.
  • Football (soccer), basketball, badminton, and tennis are also popular sports to bet on in Hong Kong due to their international appeal and competitive nature.
  • The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only legal organisation authorised for horse race betting, while authorised bookmakers exist for football matches and other sports.
  • Responsible gambling practices should be observed at all times when engaging in sports betting activities.

The Most Popular Sports To Bet On In Hong Kong

Horse racing, football (soccer), basketball, badminton, and tennis are the top sports that people in Hong Kong enjoy betting on.

Horse Racing

Horse racing holds a special place in Hong Kong’s sporting culture and has been the region’s most popular sport for many years. This thrilling equestrian event attracts massive crowds and generates substantial betting activity, making it one of the most popular sports to bet on in Hong Kong.

At these racecourses, operated by the venerable Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), weekly races feature local and international horses competing for prestigious titles and lucrative prize money.

The HKJC is not just a non-profit organisation that oversees racing events but also channels its betting profits towards charitable endeavours and community programs supporting education, health care, social inclusion, arts & culture, etc. which reflects tremendously well upon the unique role horse racing plays within Hong Kong society.

Football (Soccer)

Football, also known as soccer in some countries, is the most popular spectator sport in Hong Kong and one of the most popular sports to bet on. The region’s exposure to British culture during colonial rule has contributed significantly to football’s popularity.

Today, football matches draw large crowds at stadiums all around Hong Kong. Established teams like Kitchee SC and South China Athletic Association (SCAA) are widely supported by fans who show up in droves for games that often feature players from all over the world.

Betting markets for both local and international football events are available through authorised bookmakers and online betting websites like Bet365.


Basketball is a popular sport to bet on in Hong Kong, with many fans following the NBA and other international leagues. The fast-paced game offers a variety of betting options, from moneyline bets to over/under totals and point spreads.

In addition to professional basketball, there are also local leagues and tournaments that attract sports bettors looking for an edge. Hong Kong’s love for basketball can be attributed to its popularity across East Asia as well as the success of local players like Yao Ming, who played for the Houston Rockets in the NBA.


Badminton is one of the most popular sports to bet on among Hong Kong’s avid sports betting fans. This high-speed racket sport has captured the hearts of many locals, with its fast-paced action and skilful gameplay.

Hong Kong boasts some world-class badminton players, such as Ng Ka Long Angus and Yip Pui Yin. The city has hosted various international events, including the prestigious Badminton Asia Championships and the BWF World Junior Championships.


Tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on in Hong Kong due to its international appeal and competitive nature. With events like Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open drawing huge audiences worldwide, it’s no surprise that tennis betting markets are amongst the busiest at Hong Kong’s authorised bookmakers.

Many local fans also follow rising stars in Asian tennis such as Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori, and Hyeon Chung closely. Tennis enthusiasts can find a wide range of betting options available online or through official channels such as HKJC.

Hong Kong Betting Sites

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only legal betting site in Hong Kong, while authorised bookmakers exist for football matches and other sports.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a non-profit organisation that runs horse racing in Hong Kong. As the only legal sport to bet on alongside football, horse racing draws huge crowds and generates massive revenues for the club.

The Jockey Club’s betting profits are donated to various charities and community programs, making it a popular choice among sports betting fans who want to support good causes while having fun.

In addition to its horse racing events, the club also offers other forms of entertainment such as dining, shopping, and live music performances.

Authorised Bookmakers

Authorised bookmakers are licensed by the Hong Kong government to take bets on sporting events. Here are some key facts about these authorised bookmakers:

  • There are currently only two types of authorised bookmakers in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the licensed football betting service provider.
  • The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only authorised organisation that can run horse racing events and accept bets on them.
  • The football betting service provider, which is also authorised by the government, accepts bets on football matches organised both locally and overseas.
  • Compared to illegal bookmakers, authorised bookmakers offer a more secure and trustworthy platform for sports bettors in Hong Kong.
  • Authorised bookmakers strictly follow responsible gambling guidelines and ensure that all their services are fair and transparent.
  • If you plan to engage in sports betting in Hong Kong, it is recommended to use an authorised bookmaker to avoid legal issues or other risks associated with unregulated betting platforms.

So if you’re looking for a safe and legal way to enjoy sports betting in Hong Kong, consider using one of the two authorised bookmakers mentioned above.

Legality Of Online Betting

Online sports betting is becoming increasingly popular in Hong Kong, but it’s worth noting that there are strict laws surrounding the practice. While it is legal to place bets on horse racing and football through authorised bookmakers or the Hong Kong Jockey Club, all other forms of online betting are illegal.

This means that using unauthorised websites or apps to place bets could result in heavy fines or even imprisonment.

Responsible Gambling

It’s important to remember that for every winning bet, there is also a losing one. Responsible gambling means being aware of the risks associated with sports betting and taking steps to mitigate those risks.

One way to do this is by setting limits on how much you are willing to wager and sticking to them. This can help prevent compulsive betting behaviour and ensure that you only gamble what you can afford.

Additionally, many betting sites offer tools such as self-exclusion or deposit limits which allow users to further control their behaviour.

Spectator Sports In Hong Kong

Spectator sports are a significant part of Hong Kong’s culture, with horse racing being the most popular and attracting huge crowds every week. Football matches, basketball games, and rugby matches also draw sizeable audiences throughout the year.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is undoubtedly the most popular sport to bet on in Hong Kong, and it is deeply ingrained in the city’s culture. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only legal entity authorised to offer horse race betting, and it has a monopoly over the industry.

It draws huge crowds every weekend, with thousands flocking to Sha Tin or Happy Valley racecourse for a day of entertainment and excitement. In fact, horse racing accounts for nearly 80% of all sports betting revenue generated in Hong Kong each year.

Football Matches

Football is undeniably one of the most popular sports worldwide, and Hong Kong is no exception. Many locals enjoy betting on football matches, especially during major international tournaments such as the World Cup or UEFA Champions League.

The sport’s popularity in Hong Kong can be traced back to its colonial history when British influence brought football to the region. Today, local teams compete in several leagues, including the domestic Hong Kong Premier League and continental AFC Cup.

Basketball Games

Basketball is a popular sport in Hong Kong, and the games offer a range of betting opportunities for sports betting fans. While it may not be as popular as football or horse racing, basketball has gained significant popularity in recent years, with many local teams participating in international competitions.

The Hong Kong Basketball Association promotes the sport by organising events like the A1 Division League and hosting international matches featuring top teams from around the world.

Betting markets on basketball games are diverse, ranging from match winners to point spreads to over/under bets based on total scores. Fans can also bet on specific player performances such as points scored and assists made during a game.

Rugby Matches

Rugby is a popular spectator sport in Hong Kong, with many avid fans placing bets on major rugby events held across the world. The most significant rugby event in Hong Kong is undoubtedly the annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament, which takes place every year in March and attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe.

Rugby enthusiasts can bet on a range of markets surrounding this event, such as match results, try scorers, and point spreads. Additionally, sports betting sites also offer odds for other major international rugby tournaments like Six Nations or World Cup.

How Hong Kong’s Culture And History Influence Sports Betting

The influence of British colonialism has made football the biggest sport in Hong Kong, while the Chinese love for horse racing and popularity of East Asian sports like basketball and badminton have also had a significant impact on sports betting trends in the region.

Influence Of British Colonialism On Football

One of the most significant factors that have contributed to football’s popularity in Hong Kong is its colonial past. During British rule, football was introduced as a popular sport and quickly gained traction among locals and expats alike.

The establishment of the Football Association in 1914 further cemented the game’s place in Hong Kong’s culture. Today, football continues to draw large crowds for major matches and tournaments, with fans passionately supporting their favourite teams.

Chinese Love For Horse Racing

Hong Kong’s love affair with horse racing is deeply rooted in its rich cultural history. The sport has been an integral part of the region’s social fabric for over a century, and it holds a special place in Chinese culture as a symbol of power and wealth.

This fascination with the majestic animals can be traced back to the Tang dynasty when horses were seen as status symbols for royalty and aristocrats. Today, Hong Kong boasts one of the most prestigious and lucrative horse racing industries globally, attracting gamblers from all walks of life.

Popularity Of East Asian Sports Such As Badminton And Basketball

Badminton and basketball are two sports that have gained immense popularity in Hong Kong over the years. Badminton, in particular, has its roots deeply embedded in East Asian culture and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

It is a fast-paced sport that requires quick reflexes and agility, making it an exciting option for sports bettors. Meanwhile, Basketball has also become increasingly popular due to the success of local teams and events such as the ABA League Asia Champions Cup.

The city even hosts annual international basketball tournaments like the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final.


In conclusion, sports betting is a popular pastime in Hong Kong, with horse racing and football being the most favoured sports to bet on. However, other sports like basketball, badminton and tennis also have their followers.

The culture and history of Hong Kong have had an impact on its preference for particular sports. While enjoying these activities responsibly through authorised bookmakers or online platforms, it’s crucial to be mindful of responsible gambling practices that preserve individual well-being while engaging in this leisure activity.

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