Hong Kong police seized HK$150 million (US$19.35 million) of betting slips and arrested over 160 people in a campaign against illegal soccer bookmaking during the just concluded World Cup, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday.
During the competition final on Sunday and Monday, police raided suspected betting stations in Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan, confiscating HK$5 million worth of betting slips and arresting three people, the report said.
A special task force assigned to lead the operations coordinated with public security offices in Guangdong province and Macau as well as law enforcement units overseas to pursue the campaign.
During an operation against a cross-border bet-taking syndicate, police gathered evidence showing that daily betting for football matches and horse races amounted to nearly HK$800 million, according to the newspaper.
According to Jessie Wong, of Zion Social Service’s Yuk Lai Hin Gambling Counselling Center, the center received 237 calls for help in June, when the World Cup started, up by nearly 40 percent from 172 calls from May. Most of the callers were football gamblers who have incurred debts of around HK$200,000 to HK$300,000 on average, the report said.
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