SCMP Thursday, March 15, 2001


DAB review on soccer betting stand

GAMBLING by ANGELA LI

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong is to review its position on soccer betting despite having opposed the issue in a Legco motion debate in 1999.
Last night Tsang Yok-sing, chairman of the DAB, maintained the party was opposed to legalising soccer gambling but that its central committee would discuss it again at the request of vice-chairman Dr Paul Lo Chi-keung and district councillor Ip Kwok-chung.
Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen proposed legalising soccer betting in the Budget last week.
Dr Lo and Mr Ip said some community group leaders had indicated there was widespread support for such a move in the Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok districts.
But Democrat James To Kun-sun, who represents Kowloon West constituency, said he had not heard of such representations being made.
Mr Tsang dismissed suggestions that the party had decided to discuss the issue afresh because of strong government lobbying.
He said he had not been approached by officials.
James Tien Pei-chun, chairman of the Liberal Party, said they would back legalisation if measures were in place to prohibit those under 18 from gambling.