Date
19 September 2017
The  Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre is seeing an increase calls for help to its gambling hotline as the World Cup upsets continue. Photo: fifa.com
The Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre is seeing an increase calls for help to its gambling hotline as the World Cup upsets continue. Photo: fifa.com

Talented chef ends life ‘after losing World Cup bet’

He had won some of the highest honors in the world of culinary arts but on Friday young chef Lau Ka-lun lit the flame that would end his life — he burned charcoal in his room to commit suicide.

Lau did not leave a note but he had spoken of losing a World Cup bet on Spain several days before his death, Apple Daily reported. Police found an HK$10 million IOU in his flat.

Lau, 30, made a name for himself with seafood dishes and started out in catering at age eight, helping out in his family’s restaurant in Lau Fau Shan. By 22, he had be honored by high culinary society including the Les Aims d’Escoffier Society and went on to gain recognition from the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts.

The police also found a text message on his phone saying “life is meaningless”, Apple Daily reported over the weekend. 

The Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre said there has been a rapid increase in the number of people seeking help from its gambling hotline this year amid upsets in the World Cup. The center has had 170 requests for help so far this year, equivalent to about 60 percent of the total in 2013, Sky Post reported Monday.

The center cited the case of a young man in IT industry who had lost about HK$40,000, or about three times his monthly salary, betting on the finals.

Chui Siu-man, a senior supervisor at the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, also said the internet had made it much easier for children.

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