Updated at 6.00pm: The number of teenage gamblers in Hong Kong will multiply six-fold if soccer gambling is legalised, a survey predicted on Tuesday. Out of just over 1,000 secondary school students interviewed by the City University of Hong Kong over the past month, 3.5 per cent admitted they bet on soccer games every month. However, the figure jumped to 20.6 per cent when asked if they would bet if soccer gambling became legal. Describing the findings as ''alarming'', Dr John Tse Wing-ling, associate professor of Applied Social Science Studies at the university, said legalisation of soccer betting removed moral constraints making gambling more acceptable to youngsters. ''Legalisation means giving it status and credentials, it will also be more accepted by the public and young people,'' he said. ''The more positive their attitude towards gambling is, the more likely they are to engage in gambling.'' The survey found 46.4 per cent of youngsters aged between 11 and 17 said betting was acceptable and 17.5 per cent of respondents said they had already developed a gambling habit of some form or other. Dr Tse said teenagers were vulnerable to gambling-related problems and he urged the Government to provide more support. ''Legalisation is not a solution. It creates more problems,'' he said.