|Hong Kong citizens are increasingly in favor of legalizing soccer betting, while the number opposing legalization is falling. According to a July survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, a total of 66.5% of the 851 people surveyed say they support soccer betting - up 11% from a March survey. |
According to Timothy Wong, the survey’s program director, the poll shows that the number of soccer bettors will grow significantly if soccer betting is legalized. However, the majority of those surveyed disagreed, with 56.3% saying that legalizing soccer betting would not cause significantly increased gambling. 'If the government can at the same time work out some ancillary measures to ease people’s worry, the legislation move will more likely be accepted,” says Wong. Choi Chi-sum, general secretary of the Society for Truth and Light, who added he was not surprised by the result since the government and the media have consistently been 'promoting' soccer betting, making use of the World Cup 2002 to 'promote' it. Choi said he would express the opposing views of the alliance of religious groups, education and social workers meet Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho this week.
Ip Kwok-him, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, said the government is determined to go ahead with legislation.
'Unless it can offer new, plausible arguments that non-regulation will cause a gambling spree, our party will not support the move. But we keep an open mind and are open to discussions,' he said.