Three men were arrested after police busted an alleged illegal betting centre.
Hong Kong.- Police in Hong Kong have arrested three people accused of operating illegal betting on football matches.
According to local media reports, those arrested, aged from 26 to 38, had taken football bets worth over HK$120m.
During the raid at a hotel room in Hung Hom, police seized HK$10m in cash, betting records, computers, currency-counting machines, a list of phone numbers and bank documents.
According to officers, the operation used cash to make transactions difficult to trace. One of those arrested is suspected of being the mastermind of the syndicate while the other two were core members. The Standard Newspaper said they may face up to seven years imprisonment or a HK$5m fine.
A survey has revealed that three out of five players in Hong Kong have started to gamble more because they had more free time. More than two in five gambled more for entertainment and more than one in three did so because of reduced social activities.
The Asian Racing Federation said illegal betting rose by 10 to 20 per cent during the pandemic.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related countermeasures, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the only operator authorised to run horse racing and football betting services, was forced to close all of its venues for periods, which could have prompted some players to choose illegal gambling.