Calls to legalise basketball betting in Hong Kong rejected by Financial Secretary

Minister suggests legalisation could send wrong message, encouraging young people to gamble. 

Hong Kong finance chief
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According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-po, has rejected the notion of legalising basketball betting in the region. 

Several political parties have called for basketball betting to be introduced as a means to combat illegal gambling and at the same time increase public revenue. 

Chan is quoted as saying by the South Morning China Post: “Legalising additional gambling for the purpose of raising government revenue... I am really hesitant. I don’t think this is the right direction. 

“If we legalised that, it would affect our youth, and in a way the signal is that the Government doesn’t have enough money, and we don’t mind people gambling with it and we take a cut.” 

The Hong Kong Jockey Club emphasised its support for the proposal, explaining the need to introduce new betting options to counteract illegal bookmakers. 

One of the groups calling for the Financial Secretary to introduce legalized basketball betting was the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. 

Party member Frankie Ngan Man-yu commented: “So if the Jockey Club could expand its scope to include other events, such as basketball, then we can legally cater to those who might like to gamble on only this sport, but have no other choice currently apart from illegal gambling, in a controlled manner.” 

Elsewhere in Asian gaming today, Jade Fantasy Cricket has launched in Sri Lanka, with the fantasy cricket platform enabling users to create and manage their dream cricket teams, strategise plays and compete against fellow players for cash prizes. 

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