The Social Sciences Research Center of the University of Hong Kong in March and April of 2005 conducted a survey of 2,093 residents of Hong Kong to determine the extent of their participation in various gambling activities. Commissioned by the Home Affairs Bureau on Hong Kong, the study consisted of a simple telephone survey that took about 15 minutes for respondents to complete.
The survey shows that the Mark Six lottery game is by far the most popular form of gambling in Hong Kong, with 68.6 percent of respondents having played within the last year. A similar study from 2001 showed that 64.2 percent of respondents had played the Mark Six during the previous year, meaning that the number of participants in Mark Six had grown by 4.4 percent in the last four years. Illegal Mark Six games, which only a marginal number of respondents reported having played, also experienced a very slight increase during the last four years, with 0.4 percent of respondents having played in 2001 and 0.7 percent having played in 2005.
Horse race betting with the Hong Kong Jockey Club was the second most popular form of betting with 25.2 percent of respondents having played in the last year. This represents a decline from 30.4 percent in 2001, consistent with the Club's reported decrease in horse race betting turnover since 1999. Like illegal Mark Six games, illegal horse race betting activities with local or offshore bookmakers are marginal in Hong Kong according to the respondents' data, with 0.4 percent of respondents having played in 2005 and 0.5 percent having played in 2001.
A sizeable 16.3 percent of respondents participated in football betting with the Hong Kong Jockey Club within the last year. This figure cannot be compared to data from 2001 because the Jockey Club did not become able to operate football betting until 2003. Only 1 percent of respondents reported to have bet with local bookmakers in 2005 compared to 1.6 percent in 2001, while 0.4 percent of respondents reported to have bet with offshore bookmakers in 2005 compared to 1.3 percent in 2001.
A very insignificant percentage of respondents, only 0.1 percent, reported having gambled with an online casino in the last year. In 2001 the figure was 0.6 percent.
Click here to view all the data from the survey as well as a PowerPoint demonstration and the telephone questionnaire itself.