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Gambling

Gambling Policy

The Home Affairs Bureau is responsible for formulating gambling policy and monitoring its implementation. Hitherto, the gambling policy is to restrict gambling opportunities to a limited number of authorized and regulated outlets. At present, such authorized gambling outlets include horse racing organized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club , the Mark Six Lottery, authorized football betting and gaming activities authorized by the public officer appointed by the Secretary for Home Affairs under the Gambling Ordinance (Cap. 148) (e.g. mahjong parlours).

The rationale behind this policy is two-fold. First, while we recognize that there is always a demand for gambling, the conduct of gambling activities should be authorized and regulated. This is because unregulated gambling activities can lead to a number of social problems - frauds, underage gambling, loan sharking, etc. - and become a potential source of income for triad and criminal activities. Second, since it is impossible to reconcile the different views in the community on the extent to which authorized gambling outlets should be allowed to exist, a compromise approach is to allow only a limited number of authorized gambling outlets, the purpose of which is to satisfy substantial and persistent public demand for gambling which would otherwise turn to illegal operators.

Gambling Legislation

Under the Gambling Ordinance (Cap. 148), all gambling activities are illegal except those expressly authorized by the Government under the Betting Duty Ordinance (Cap. 108) (i.e. authorized horse racing, authorized football betting and the Mark Six Lottery), those licensed by the public officers appointed by the Secretary for Home Affairs (e.g. mahjong parlours) and those exempted under Section 3 of the Gambling Ordinance (mainly social gambling).

Betting and Lotteries Commission

With effect from 15 August 2006, the name of the Football Betting and Lotteries Commission was changed to the Betting and Lotteries Commission, and the functions of the Commission expanded to include advising the Secretary for Home Affairs on the regulation of the conduct of betting on horse racing as well as compliance with licensing conditions by the licensee. Details of the terms of reference and membership of the Commission are as follows :

Terms of reference

To advise the Secretary for Home Affairs on the following aspects -

  1. regulation of the conduct of horse race betting, football betting and lotteries in accordance with the provisions of the Betting Duty Ordinance and the licensing conditions;

  2. compliance with the licensing conditions by the licensees;

  3. handling of public complaints relating to the compliance of the licensing conditions by the licensees;

  4. imposition of financial penalties on the licensees; and

  5. issuance and revocation of horse race betting, football betting and lottery licences; and variation of the conditions of such licences.

Chairman

Mr FONG Man-hung, David, B.B.S, J.P.

Non-official Members

Ms CHIU Wing-kwan, Winnie, J.P.
Mr FOK Kai-kong, Kenneth, J.P.
Rev HO Chi-dik
Ms HO Yee-lin, Elaine
Ms LU Hai, M.H., J.P.
Mrs MA LI Mun-wai, Julie
Ms MAN Yee-wai, Viola, B.B.S.
Dr NG Chui-yiu, Jennifer
Mr WONG Chor-fung, David
Ms YAU Sau-wai, Sania, J.P.

Official Members

Commissioner of Police or his representative
Permanent Secretary for Education or his representative
Director of Home Affairs or her representative

Meeting of the Commission

1st meeting : Agenda (PDF)
2nd meeting : Agenda (PDF)
3rd meeting : Agenda (PDF)
4th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
5th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
6th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
Special Meeting : Agenda (PDF)
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Meeting Minutes (PDF)

    - Written submissions (1) (PDF)
    - Written submissions (2) (PDF)
    - Written submissions (3) (PDF)
    - Written submissions (4) (PDF)
7th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
8th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
9th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
10th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
11th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
12th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
13th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
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17th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
18th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
19th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
20th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
21th meeting : Agenda (PDF)
Public Consultation Session : The Betting and Lotteries Commission (BLC) invited the public to submit written comments on Hong Kong Jockey Club's proposals on horse racing activities, through its secretariat in the Home Affairs Bureau. As of March 31, 2016, BLC received 69 submissions by the organisations, and the 58 submissions from individuals, . A public consultation session was held on March 29. Organisations and individuals who had submitted written submissions might also attend and speak at the public consultation session to present their views to BLC in person. Please click here (Chinese version only) for the summary of comments received at the public consultation session.
22th meeting : Agenda (PDF)

Complaints and comments

If you have any complaints and comments regarding the regulation of authorized betting and lotteries, please contact us through the following channels:

- E-mail: hab3@hab.gov.hk
- Fax: 2591 6002
- Mail: Civic Affairs Division (3), Home Affairs Bureau, 13/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong.
- Telephone: 2591 6690

The Ping Wo Fund

The Government established The Ping Wo Fund in September 2003 to finance preventive and remedial measures to address the gambling-related problems. Starting from 2008 onwards, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has undertaken to contribute $15 million each year in the coming five years. The Fund also welcomes donations from the public. For cheque and cash donations:
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) account number “502-407851-001”. Cheques should be made payable to “The Secretary for Home Affairs Incorporated – The Ping Wo Fund”. For more details of the Fund and the programme schedules, please visit http://www.donotgamble.org.hk.

The major ambits of The Ping Wo Fund are to finance the following measures:

- research and studies into problems and issues relating to gambling;
- public education and other measures to prevent or alleviate problems relating to gambling;
- counselling, treatment and other remedial or support services for problem and pathological gamblers and those affected by them.


A Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee has been established to give advice on the use and application of the Fund. The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Chairperson

Mr YIP Chun-to, Adrian, B.B.S., M.H., J.P.

Ex-officio Members

Representative of Secretary for Home Affairs
Representative of Secretary for Education
Representative of Director of Social Welfare

Non-official Members

Mr CHAN Ho-ting, Mac
Mr CHAN Kit-chu, Anthony, PMSM
Ms CHE Huey-sze, Denise
Ms CHENG Michelle
Ms CHENG Ming-fung, Jacqueline
Mr CHENG Richard
Dr LEE Wing-king
Mr LING Ho-wan, Howard
Mrs MA LI Mun-wai, Julie
Mr TANG Chun-keung, Teddy, M.H., J.P.
Ms WU Shuk-yin
Mr YEUNG Chee Tat, Stanley, J.P.

Meeting of the Advisory Committee

1st meeting - Agenda (PDF)
2nd meeting - Agenda (PDF)
3rd meeting - Agenda (PDF)
4th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
5th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
6th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
7th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
8th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
9th meeting - Agenda (Chinese version only) (PDF)
10th meeting - Agenda (Chinese version only) (PDF)
11th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
12th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
13th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
14th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
15th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
16th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
17th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
18th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
19th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
20th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
21st meeting - Agenda (PDF)
22nd meeting - Agenda (PDF)
23rd meeting - Agenda (PDF)
24th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
25th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
26th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
27th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
28th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
29th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
30th meeting - Agenda (PDF)
31st meeting - Agenda (PDF)
32nd meeting - Agenda (PDF)
33rd meeting - Agenda (PDF)

Preventive and remedial measures to address gambling-related problems

We are implementing various preventive and remedial measures in addressing gambling-related problems which are financed by the Ping Wo Fund. The major details are set out as follows:

Research and studies on gambling-related issues and problems

We have commissioned academic institutes to conduct research and studies on gambling-related issues, which mainly include tracking surveys on the impact of gambling participation, and prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in Hong Kong (for full report, press here ).

Public education and other measures to prevent or alleviate problems relating to gambling

Since 2003, we have commissioned various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to launch education programmes which target the young people, school students, teachers, parents and district personnels on gambling-related problems. The theme of these programmes was commonly known as "Say No to Gambling 屹立不賭", with the primary objective of enhancing understanding of the causes and problems of gambling on the one hand, and strengthening individuals' (particularly young people's) ability to exercise self-control against the temptation of gambling on the other hand.

To effectively spread the message of "Say No to Gambling" to all levels of the community, we have produced various television and radio announcements of public interests (APIs). By showing the audience the adverse impact that could be caused by gambling on one's health, family, social status and finance, the slogans in the APIs : "Don't Gamble your Life Away 沉迷賭 博,累己累人", and "Don't Gamble to Excess 沉迷賭博,賭錢落海" have become widely known to the community.

In 2004 and 2006, the Ping Wo Fund sponsored the production of docu-drama to disseminate the message of "Say No to Gambling". A series of 16 episodes building on real-life experiences were broadcast to promulgate the psychological and financial damages that could be caused by problem and pathological gambling to the gamblers from different walks of life.

This year, to raise the awareness on gambling-related problems among the general public, especially the youth, the Ping Wo Fund has commissioned Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to produce a new series of TV docu-drama to educate the general public on the negative consequences of excessive gambling. The TV docu-drama consists of two phrases. The first phrase (Lose and Win 賭海迷途) has been broadcast in the first quarter of this year. (For programme archive, please click here.)

The second phrase ( Lose and Win Plus 賭海論迷途) will be broadcast on RTHK 31 Channel every Wednesday (8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.) during the period from 8 July to 5 August 2015. (For programme archive, please click here.)

We will, from time to time, consider commissioning new public education programmes, so as to continuously counter the negative impact of gambling on the society.

Over the years, education campaigns by HAB as mentioned above have repeatedly emphasized on the adverse impact of excessive or illegal gambling on the community, especially on the young people. It is stipulated in the law that it’s illegal for gambling operators to accept bets or allow the participation in gambling activities by young people below the age of 18.

Starting from 2003, we have also commissioned various NGOs to launch education campaigns targeted at school students. Upon the commencement of the new English Premier League season in August 2007, we launched a territory-wide campaign with the specific theme of "睇波‧不賭波,健康‧齊踢波" which aimed at educating the public, especially the school children and young people that soccer should be played as a healthy sports instead of abused as a gambling tool. The campaign has successfully reached out to all primary and secondary schools, parents' associations and district communities. For details of the campaign, please see http://www.donotgamble.tv.

We will continue to cooperate with relevant government departments, including the Education Bureau, the Police and the Social Welfare Department and the NGOs, particularly the youth organizations, in launching further education campaigns to remind the young people not to engage in underage or illegal gambling.

Counselling and treatment as well as other remedial services for problem and pathological gamblers

Four dedicated counselling and treatment centres for problem and pathological gamblers financed by The Ping Wo Fund are being operated by Caritas, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Zion Social Service Limited and Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service respectively. The first two centres operated by Caritas and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals commenced service since October 2003 whereas the two other centres operated by Zion Social Service Limited and Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service commenced service in 2007 and 2010 respectively. The four centres also provide gambling counselling hotline service (telephone number: 1834 633).

The four centres provide specialized counselling and treatment services for problem and pathological gamblers and their family members. The four centres will also facilitate the development of the best practices for remedial services and screening of problem and pathological gamblers in Hong Kong, and collect data and statistics for the sake of enhancing understanding about the behaviour and risk factors of problem and pathological gambling.

In addition, the Ping Wo Fund also provides funding support for the organisation of the Asian Pacific Problem Gambling and Addiction Conferences. The 4th Asian Pacific Problem Gambling and Addiction Conference was held on 8 & 9 May 2015 for knowledge exchange and networking between Hong Kong and international practitioners in combating problem gambling (for Welcoming Address by Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, press here) (PDF) (English version only). For more details of the conference, please revisit http://www.appgac.org/ browsing.

Ping Wo Fund Anti-Football Gambling Promotional Campaign 2014

To raise public awareness of the problem of gambling in the run-up to the World Cup 2014, the Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee (PWFAC) has launched Hong Kong’s largest, territory-wide joint promotional campaign to discourage football gambling. With the slogan of “Lead a Healthy Life, Don’t Gamble”, this joint effort with the Home Affairs Bureau and the Hong Kong Police Force, fully supported by district participation and many partner organisations, works proactively in advocating football as a healthy sport to be honoured and enjoyed by all for its good character and spirit. It is also the first time that PWFAC has collaborated with the local design brand “Chocolate Rain”. The main characters – Fatina, Chefo and their friends are transformed into campaign ambassadors to help promote anti-football gambling messages!

Designed to appeal to people of all ages, and open to the public for free, the campaign includes a large-scale thematic roadshow and a diversified array of enjoyable activities, where the public can show their support for anti-football gambling by taking part in the games. Participants can also take home with prizes and souvenirs!

Campaign Highlight

2016 - 2017 Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme

The Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme, administered by the Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee, aims to provide sponsorship to community organisations to organise public education programmes/activities to prevent and alleviate gambling-related problems.

The Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme 2016-17 is inviting applications. This year, the applications would be processed in two phases, with the first phase covering those programems/activities to commence in June to September 2016 and the second phase covering those programmes/activities to commence in October to December 2016. The application deadlines for the first phase and second phase are 6 May 2016 and 27 May 2016 respectively. To encourage applications from community organisations, the deadline for application for the second phase will be extended to 10 July 2016. For details, please refer to the guidance note.

- Guidance Note of the Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme 2016-17 (PDF)

- Annex

2016-2017 Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants

The 2016-2017 Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants (the Scheme) administered by the Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee aims to provide sponsorship to schools to organize educational projects/ activities on prevention or alleviation of gambling-related problems among students. The Scheme is inviting applications and the deadline is 21 May 2016. For details, please refer to the following document.

- Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants 2016-2017 (PDF)

- Annex (PDF)

 

(You need to use Acrobat Reader to read the above PDF format document files. Acrobat Reader can be downloaded in here.)


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