HK gambling and related disorders on the decline

Gambling participation and the prevalence of gambling disorders among Hong Kong people have been on the decline, according to a study commissioned by the Ping Wo Fund.

The study, which was conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and commissioned by the Ping Wo Fund saw the rate of Hong Kong people's participation in gambling activities at 61.5 percent in 2016, lower than 62.3 percent in 2012 and significantly down from 77.8 percent in 2001.

The participation rate of secondary school students also fell from 33.5 percent in 2012 to 21.8 percent in 2016, representing a substantial decrease from 54.0 percent in 2001.

At the same time, the rate of people with potential gambling disorders dropped from 2 percent in 2012 to 1.4 percent in 2016.

Most popular gambling activities amongst respondents were the Mark Six Lottery and social gambling (such as mahjong and poker), while secondary school students mostly participated in social gambling, the study found.

Horse race betting saw a decline, from 12.5 percent of survey respondents indicating they had participated in horse race betting, compared to 12.9 percent in 2012.

Football betting remained around the same as that of 2012, at 6.6 percent.

The spokesman of the Ping Wo Fund Advisory Committee said, "The Committee is pleased to see that the prevalence rates of gambling and possible gambling disorder among Hong Kong people have decreased continuously. The Study considered that publicity and education efforts as well as other alleviating measures implemented by the Government and the Ping Wo Fund might have contributed to such a decreasing trend."

He added, "The Committee has all along closely observed the prevalence of gambling activities among Hong Kong people, and has accordingly developed appropriate public education and publicity programmes, so as to prevent people from becoming addicted to gambling and to alleviate the negative impact arising from gambling addiction."

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