City to hold first mahjong competition
A SMALL city in north Guangdong will hold the first mahjong contest in China next year.
Shaoquan, on the border between Guangdong and Hunan, will organise a five-day mahjong competition on New Year's Day. Prizes will include a flat, a motorcycle and a colour television set, it was reported yesterday.
Each competitor would pay 280 yuan (HK$260) in entrance fees, an advertisement published in yesterday's Shaoquan Daily said.
In reporting the competition, the Hong Kong China News Agency said many people had expressed reservations about the event, saying it could be seen as promoting gambling.
Gambling is illegal in China although the Government has not banned mahjong.
There have been reports gambling dens have sprung up over the past few years despite official campaigns to discourage people from gambling.
Many dens have links with Hong Kong triads and are said to turn over as much as hundreds of thousands of yuan each day.