Suicidal Mark Six punter in Jockey Club stand-off
A mainlander who said he had lost all his savings and was now deeply in debt after betting illegally on Mark Six, threatened to cut his throat during a two-hour stand-off with police at the Hong Kong Jockey Club headquarters yesterday.
The 40-year-old two-way permit holder said he had spent all his savings of 100,000 yuan (HK$113,900) and had run up 500,000 yuan in debts with illegal bookmakers.
He went to the club's administration building in Sports Road, Happy Valley, at about 1pm yesterday, hours after he arrived in Hong Kong alone from Fujian province, calling on the club to crack down on illegal operators.
'He claimed that he lost heavily with illegal Mark Six operators on the mainland over the past few years and had gone into debt,' a club spokeswoman said.
'He hoped the Jockey Club could help crack down on illegal operators so that he did not need to pay his debts.'
Police were called in at 2.10pm when the man refused to leave the main lobby of the building.
He became emotional and pulled out a cutter when officers arrived.
A team of police negotiators and officers carrying shields and wearing protective gear were called in after he refused to drop the weapon. 'The man held the cutter to his neck and wrist in an attempt to injure himself during negotiations with police,' an officer said.
After speaking to negotiators for about 45 minutes, the man calmed down and eventually left the cutter on a table at about 4pm. He was uninjured, but was sent to Ruttonjee Hospital.
Police classified the case as an attempted suicide.
No-one was arrested.
It is illegal to bet on Mark Six on the mainland, where punters place their bets with illegal bookmakers.
In October, marine police arrested two smugglers and seized 26 bundles of newsletters with tips on winning the Mark Six lottery after intercepting a mainland-bound speedboat off Tuen Mun.
The King of Mark Six newsletters, suspected of having been printed in Hong Kong, were priced at 5 yuan each.