Macau’s integrated resorts are the second most preferred venue for gambling for Hong Kong residents based on a recent survey. Hong Kong gamblers prefer to gamble at casino ships than taking the one hour ferry trip to Macau – the gaming hub of the world. Commissioned by the Ping Wo Fund, the study was conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It covered around 1,250 respondents who had gambled in the past 12 months. The Fund has been set up by the government in order to fund remedial measures for problem gambling.
The report “Study on Hong Kong People’s Participation in Gambling Activities in 2016” has revealed the average monthly amount gambled on casino ships was HKD45,259.6, far higher than what’s seen at Macau casinos which is around HKD7,938.8.
Average betting on other forms of gaming are: HKD159.9 on the Mark Six lottery, HKD423.8 on social gambling, HKD5,610.6 on horse race betting and finally HKD1,598.7 on football betting. Although betting amounts are lower, the most popular gambling formats were the Mark Six lottery and social games such as poker and mahjong.
According to the report, gambling at Macau’s casinos in 2016 was 5.6 times higher than what was recorded in a 2012 study, while gambling on casino ships was 20 times higher. The study revealed that around 8.4 percent of those surveyed had visited a Macau casino in the past 12 months, while over two-thirds had visited Macau between one to three times in the same time period.
The study also indicated that around 7 percent of those surveyed had gambled in Macau more than once a month while around 1 percent did so once or more a week.
Overall, the report demonstrated that the rate of participation in gambling over the past year among Hong Kong resident has dropped. In 2016 there was a drop to 61.5 per cent, lower than the 62.3 percent in 2012.
The data has also indicated a drop in the rate of potential gambling addiction among Hong Kong residents. There were reportedly 2 percent of problem gamblers in 2012 but that number has now dropped to 1.4 per cent in 2016.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Fund 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
The spokesperson said that the Hong Kong Government and the Fund would continue with its programs of remedial measures and policies to support those suffering from gambling addiction.