Chinese Soccer Betting
By Paul
The Chinese government is to announce the long-awaited result of the public consultation on soccer betting by the middle of the year, a top government source said yesterday, this according to the China Daily. Secretary for Home Affairs W.K. Lam unveiled a consultation paper in June 2001, followed by a study on gambling behaviour three months later. However, the result is likely to be too late to capitalize on betting on the Fifa World Cup, to be held jointly in Japan and South Korea this summer.

”…`We are not too worried about the imminent 2002 World Cup since important football matches come one after one another, and we look at this issue from longer-term perspectives,’ Lam said.

Lam said that he doubted if legalization would generate as much as HK$20 billion (US$2,564,102,622) in revenue as estimated, possibly only yielding a few hundred million HK dollars.

Even if the government wishes to regulate football gambling by legislation and suppresses related crimes, operators may be deterred from entering the market if the tax charged is high. However, the government remains keen to raise the maximum amount from betting.

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