Ninety per cent of people oppose the expansion of gambling, fearing it will debase sport and corrupt youngsters, a survey has shown. The poll, conducted by the moral concern groups Breakthrough and the Society for Truth and Light, comes in the wake of tentative official discussions on the legalisation of soccer betting. A total of 2,026 people aged 12 and above were interviewed in a random telephone survey and overwhelmingly disagreed that there should be more outlets for gambling. Just over 70 per cent of respondents said legalising soccer betting would promote gambling and devalue sport. More than 80 per cent said they expected match-fixing to result. Society for Truth and Light general secretary Choi Chi-sum said he was angered by talk of legalising soccer betting. 'It is ridiculous to say that gambling will help to promote football in Hong Kong. Should we also have gambling on other sporting events in order to promote sport activities, even the Asian Games?' he said. A spokesman for the Home Affairs Bureau said the Government was collecting public opinion on the issue and a working group involving government officials would be formed soon to study the topic further. The survey also found that 63.5 per cent of the people interviewed opposed the Jockey Club's holding of millennium sweepstakes and millennium racing. Of these, 71 per cent believed the two activities would promote gambling among youngsters. Breakthrough manager Eileen Mok Wai-chi said she was disappointed by the Government and the Jockey Club. 'They are trying everything they can to save the industry. However, they have not considered that every extra dollar they earn will mean extra spending of five or six dollars on social welfare to deal with gambling-associated problems,' she said. Jockey Club spokesman Wilson Cheng Kwok-ming said promoting gambling among young people had never been its intention. 'We don't have to do that. Racing is only entertainment. The average bet is only a few hundred dollars,' he said. Mr Cheng said the millennium sweepstakes and the millennium races were only held to mark a special new year's eve. 'Events similar to this might not be held again. Or, if they are, they might only be in the next millennium.'