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The Societal and Economic Impact of Illegal Gambling

An extensive study conducted by Australia`s Productivity Commission shows costs of family crisis associated with problem gambling constitutes nearly two-thirds of the overall societal cost, inclusive of economic cost. This implies excessive gamblers make a disproportionate contribution to the overall societal cost of problem gambling in Hong Kong. Many investigations of Hong Kong suicides point out most of the unfortunate events occurred due to excessive gambling; problem gamblers are more susceptible to suicide than other substance addicts. The number of problem gamblers undergoing medical treatment reveals illegal gamblers are more prone to suicidal thoughts than their legitimate counterpart.

Impact of illegal gambling 

More specified investigations of gambling-related suicide point out compulsive gamblers were exposed to loan sharks than non-excessive gamblers. Tentative evidence shows pressure from loan sharks may have persuaded the problem gamblers to commit suicide. Gambling within the legal boundary and means keep gambling entertaining and engrossing. All official results of the Mark Six lottery, football betting, and horse racing are displayed in HK data today 2021 (data hkhariini 2021)online portal.

Higher the monetary loss

A hypothetical credit line to illegal gamblers would encourage their monthly spending on gambling; 19% of them were willing to use the credit card, compared to 2% of regular gamblers. This evidence reveals illegal gamblers are more prone to loan sharks, debts, and eventually to bankruptcy. Illegal gamblers often turn to crime or take shelter under criminal syndicates to earn revenues or to enjoy other illicit benefits. Crimes committed by compulsive gamblers are often non-violent property crimes such as theft, shoplifting, and fraud of money. One research reveals higher the monetary loss on gambling, the higher is the probability of committing a crime. Gamblers suffering from US$501 to 1000 are 15% more likely to involve in serious crime some time or other; this figure rises to 27.5% when gambling loss ranges from US$1001 to 5000.

Greater risk and uncertainty

Gambling is another prime source of revenue for a crime syndicate; 35% of syndicates take refuge to promote gambling as an income source. Moreover, these groups use violence or threat of violence to realize debt and fight other criminal groups to run their illegal gambling establishments. Criminal syndicates try to bribe law enforcement agents and legislatures to avert raids in their organizations. But trying to corrupt the system brings greater risk and uncertainty in a business environment.

The regulated play

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) gives players a regulated, organized gaming opportunity such as horseracing, Mark Six lottery, football betting other than the HK football league. These efforts bring value to public finances. In the financial year 2014-2015, HKJC earned a revenue of HK$31.2 billion, out of which HK$24.8 billion was paid as tax, which was just below 1/3rd of the current state health budget. Outside this regulated environment, a significant grey gambling market operates in Hong Kong., worth around HK$12 billion as per assumption by HKJC. Illegal betting occurs across all gambling products like domestic and international horse racing, football, and other sports through the internet, underground casinos, and mahjong schools. The rising trend of illegal gambling poses a threat to state finance and society. The results of authorized betting are published on the (data HK HariIni 2021) website.

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