Game over for eight Mong Kok gambling dens as police arrest 57, confiscate arcade machines and seize HK$49,000 in cash
Illegal parlours run by four different gangs shut down in week-long operation
Eight triad-controlled gambling dens were closed down in Mong Kok with the arrest of 57 people during a week-long police operation that ended on Wednesday.
Police seized HK$49,000 in cash along with 28 arcade game machines from the illegal gambling venues that were operated in residential and commercial units in the district.
Mong Kok district operations officer Chief Inspector Dick Ma Wang-ngai said initial investigations showed that the eight gambling dens were controlled by four different gangs.
“One of the gambling establishments had been in operation for just two days before our raid,” he said.
To avoid police detection, the gambling dens served regular clients. Security cameras had been installed outside every venue, and entrances had two doors.
“During the raids, officers had to break through the doors at most of these venues to gain entry,” Ma said.
According to police, arcade machines were used for betting games. Gamblers were required to buy cards to record their scores before playing on the machines. Points could be exchanged for cash with the operators taking 10 per cent as commission, Ma said.
“Daily revenue was between HK$3,000 and HK$10,000 at each venue,” the chief inspector said.
Officers arrested 13 people when they raided and closed down two gambling dens at Shanghai Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street South on Wednesday. The other venues were at Nathan Road, Soy Street and Reclamation Street.
Officers from Mong Kok police district’s anti-triad squad and special duties squad took about a month to collect intelligence and carry out surveillance before they swooped into action and raided the eight locations between February 23 and March 1.
Eight of the suspects were arrested for operating gambling establishments while the others were arrested for gambling offences.
Police said they would continue to carry out intelligence-led operations to combat such illegal activities.