Hong Kong: illegal gambling sites promoting activities on social media

Authorities advise there is a greater risk of gambling harm in younger audiences.
Authorities advise there is a greater risk of gambling harm in younger audiences.

A report from the Asian Racing Federation warns that illegal gambling sites have increased their ads on social media channels.

Hong Kong.- The Asian Racing Federation has revealed that illegal betting sites are increasingly using social media to spam potential bettors in Hong Kong, increasing the risk of gambling harm amount younger audiences. According to Douglas Robinson and James Porteous, the most commonly used app is WhatsApp, but other social media platforms are also being used.

At least 11 illegal betting networks were identified as having used social media spam. WhatsApp spam is sent from overseas phone numbers in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The report warns that there is a greater risk of gambling harm given the younger demographic using social media channels. It reveals that one of the illegal gambling sites received 1.5m visits from Hong Kong between April 2020 and September 2021 due to social media campaigns.

Macau detects 1,372 gaming-related crimes in 2021

According to Macau’s crime statistics for the year 2021, the city recorded 1,372 gaming-related crimes. The figure was up 23.2 per cent from the 1,114 cases identified in 2020.

Authorities said an increase in tourists after the lifting of Covid-19 countermeasures was a factor in the rise in gaming-related crime. The Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) has recently reported that Macau received 7.971m tourists in 2021, up 30.7 per cent year-on-year.

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