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Gambling Policy

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

Members

Mr CHAN Chi-chiu, Henry, M.H., J.P.
Dr CHAN Po-ling
Revd Canon Hon KOON Ho-ming, Peter Douglas, B.B.S.
Mr LAI Tat-shing
Hon LAU Kwok-fan, M.H., J.P.
Ms LEE Shuk-wai, Anthea
Ms LEUNG Fung-yee, Fonnie
Mr LING Ho-wan, Howard, M.H.
Miss WAN Lai-sze, Iris
Mr WONG Hin-wing, M.H.
Ms WONG Pak-yan, Annie
Commissioner of Police or his representative
Permanent Secretary for Education or her representative
Director of Home Affairs or her representative

Meeting of the Commission

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:

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. From 2019/20, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has undertaken to contribute $45 million each year within a four-year period. 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

Ms LU Hai, 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 Chun-chung
Ms CHAN Wing-man
Dr CHEN Yuk-lun, Ronald
Mr CHONG Yan-kit, Sam
Miss HO Ching-wai, Cherene
Mr KO Hiu-wing
Ms LEUNG Fung-yee, Fonnie
Miss LI Ka-yan
Mr NG Chak-hang, Matthew
Dr POON Yin-kwong, Johannes
Ms ZHANG Ti

Meeting of the Advisory Committee

Research and studies on gambling-related issues and problems

We have commissioned academic institutes to conduct research and studies on Hong Kong People's participation in gambling activities. (for report, press here ).

Counselling and treatment as well as other remedial services for gamblers with gambling disorder

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

Project i-Change: a new stepped-care-approach for problem gamblers

The Project i-Change, which features a virtual counsellor, is a pilot project funded by the Ping Wo Fund and operated by Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service – Hong Kong with an aim to fill the gap of existing operation hours of counselling services by providing simulated counselling support service to problem gamblers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As an artificial intelligence computer programme developed by a team of multi-disciplinary versatile professionals, the virtual counsellor serves as an initial contact point to offer preliminary advice and encourage problem gamblers for further telephone and face-to-face counselling.

Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme 2021-22

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.

A total of 15 projects are approved under the Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme 2021-22. For details, please refer to the list of approved projects (Chinese version only) and the Guide to Application of the Ping Wo Fund Sponsorship Scheme 2021-22.

Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants 2022-23

The Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants administered by the Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee aims to provide grants to schools to organise educational projects/activities on prevention or alleviation of gambling-related problems among students. The School Project Grants 2022-23 is inviting applications and the application closing date is 6 July 2022 (Wednesday). For details, please refer to the following documents.

- Ping Wo Fund School Project Grants 2022-23 (PDF)

- Annex (DOC)

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