A group of Christian lawyers has called on the Government to take public morality into account when deciding whether to legalise soccer gambling. In a submission to the Government, the Lawyers Christian Fellowship social concern group said: 'The laws of any society incorporate the general moral sense of the community if they are to be respected and enforced.' The group, which opposes any hasty attempt to legalise soccer betting, argues the right to gamble is not enshrined in local law or international covenants. 'Gambling is not a right or freedom guaranteed under the Basic Law or the international covenants on civil and political rights applicable to Hong Kong,' the group said. 'Neither is it recognised as a fundamental right or freedom in any international treaties or covenants.' The group said it would be premature for the Government to conclude that it could not stamp out illegal soccer betting by policing when it had not made any effort to step up law enforcement. The administration should instead adopt measures to prevent illegal gambling and provide education and treatment for addicted gamblers. It also should tighten existing gambling legislation and conduct a more comprehensive review in two to three years' time. Public consultation on the proposal to legalise soccer gambling is due to end on September 21.