A travel agency director estimated to have taken up to $9.1 million in illegal bets on European soccer matches and local horse races was fined $500,000 and given an 18-month suspended jail term yesterday. Working from home, Or Suen-hong, 50, took telephone bets which included wagers on football matches in the early stages of the European Champions' League. The sentence comes amid police warnings that football fans should not place illegal bets on the Euro 2000 championships, which began on Saturday. On September 15, police looking through a telescope observed Or sitting in his Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, home. Over three hours he received about 60 phone calls and jotted down notes. They later saw Or rush to the kitchen with a pile of papers as other police knocked on his door. Officers found betting slips in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. Ching Y. Wong SC, for Or, had argued that the betting slips did not automatically mean Or was a bookmaker. District Court judge Richard Day said: 'The betting slips themselves do not show bets were taken. But taking all other evidence together, he was proved to be a bookmaker.' Mr Wong said his client had worked hard to set up his one-man travel agency, which earned up to $200,000 a month profit. The father of two was his family's sole breadwinner. He also said it was a minor betting operation and there was no evidence he was taking bets from the public. Judge Day agreed the operation was not substantial, although the prosecution estimated he had taken $9.1 million in bets. 'A limited number of names shown on the slips means a limited number of gamblers,' said the judge.