The Gambling Ordinance allows punters to bet online with the Hong Kong Jockey Club but prohibits them from betting online with any overseas bookmaker or race track.
Local racegoers believe it should be a matter of choice whether to deal with a bookmaker in Hong Kong or a bookmaker licensed overseas.
They hoped for the Hong Kong Government to amend the Gambling Ordinance following the appeal ruling by the World Trade Organization in the case brought by Antigua against the US.
Earlier this month, the WTO decided that a US law barring Antiguan companies from offering Internet betting to its citizens constitutes trade discrimination.
“As far as we understand, the WTO ruling only applies to the US and Antigua,\’\’ said a Government spokeswoman.
Joseph Kelly, a law professor who studies the gaming industry at the State University of New York, said the WTO\’s appeal ruling may actually reinforce Hong Kong\’s legal position.
“It would seem Hong Kong could use the reasoning that the prohibition is necessary to prevent crime, money laundering, underage betting and fraud,\’\’ he said.