Police have busted three illegal gambling dens in Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Tuen Mun over two days, the first raid of which saw gamblers in the den attempt to block officers entering through the front door.

During the raid on Monday night at a flat on Portland Street in Mong Kok, police officers encountered resistance from gamblers, who formed a “human wall” against the front door in an attempt to block their entry.

Police were able to enter eventually, and four men and one woman aged between 30-48 were arrested. Police confiscated HK$20,000 suspected to be used as betting money as well as three gaming tables, a card reader and 60 “membership cards,” reported Apple Daily.

gamble photo
File photo. Photo: Pixabay via WerbeFabrik.

In Sham Shui Po, a gambling den offering baccarat was raided on Yu Chau Street at 1am on Tuesday. Six men and eight women aged between 26-58 were arrested. “Chips” suspected to be worth HK$190,000, as well as HK$10,000 in cash, were confiscated.

An illegal mahjong den in a flat at Tak Ching Court in Tuen Mun was also raided on Tuesday night, reported RTHK. Thirteen men and eight women were arrested. Police confiscated HK$10,000 which was suspected to be used as betting money, as well as eight electronic mahjong tables and 16 sets of mahjong tiles.

Parsu Wong Chun-pak of the Mong Kok Regional Special Duties Squads said that the Mong Kok flat which housed the gambling den was secured with three locks on the front door and only granted entry to frequent customers. Previous police undercover operations had failed.

Gambling in Hong Kong is only legal in regulated outlets, such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Operating an unlawful gaming establishment can carry a fine of up to HK$5 million and seven years of imprisonment.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.