A PLAN to build a gambling parlour in New York's Chinatown to accept bets on races broadcast live from Hong Kong has met fierce opposition. A Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club spokesman said no approval has been given for its races to be broadcast in New York. 'We would very much like to learn more about it,' said information secretary Wilson Cheng Kwok-ming. The Jockey Club might consider taking action against the move but it would be difficult to stop unauthorised operations, he said. Last month, the club received government permission to accept bets from punters around the world, but the agreement was made too early for the New York proposal to be part of the plan. Opponents in New York say the move will hurt the community, already plagued by crime and poverty. New York's sole horse gambling authority, the Off-Track Betting Corp, has struck a deal with the second largest dim sum restaurant in Chinatown, Silver Palace, to open the parlour early next year. The authority says the parlour will charge US$5 (HK$39) admission and there will be a strict dress code. Televisions will be installed in a restaurant setting. The complex is to open between 11 am and 5 am to allow live betting on Hong Kong racing. 'We've told the [authority] management that we don't want them in our community,' said a spokesman for the thousand-strong Chinatown-based Chinese Staff and Workers' Association, Ming Lam. Mr Lam described gambling as an 'opium addiction' that undermined people's will, especially poor immigrants. 'There are countless examples of people suffering heavy debts from loansharks after losing money at Off-Track Betting Corp shops and being forced to commit crimes when all they expected was to have the chance of a better life,' said Mr Lam. Silver Palace executive director Richard Chan, the co-chairman of the Chinatown Tourist Council, says opponents have overreacted. 'We just want to create a new tourist spot and a clubhouse complex something like the Hong Kong Jockey Club's,' he said. 'It will create 50 more employment opportunities on top of the 70 that already exist. It can improve the economy in Chinatown as a whole.'