The Government is trapped between opposing views on whether to legalise football gambling, according to the Secretary for Home Affairs. While the majority of people responding to a government consultation opposed the idea, most views expressed in the media appeared to support the move, said Lam Woon-kwong. More than 6,000 submissions were received by the Home Affairs Bureau, which is in charge of gambling policy, during last year's consultation. Mr Lam said in a Commercial Radio interview yesterday that the Government was studying the submissions and hoped to make a decision as soon as possible. He has previously said a decision would be made by the middle of the year, thereby ruling out legal betting on the World Cup finals, which will be held in Japan and South Korea in June. Opponents, such as the Catholic Church, say legalising football gambling would encourage betting and create social problems. They also say the Government should not take the lead in encouraging gambling. But supporters say legalising soccer betting would bring it under control and generate tax revenue. The Government has estimated that underground syndicates earn at least $20 billion a year from illegal bets. Mr Lam said: 'We have to be very careful. Most submissions we received are against football gambling. It is understandable, because those writing to us are usually those with strong feelings about the issue. 'But from what we hear from the newspapers and media, public opinion seems to be in favour of the idea.'