The group holds an overnight session by Legco in final effort to sway lawmakers Christian demonstrators held an overnight prayer session in front of the Legislative Council building last night in a last-ditch effort to sway legislators before they vote today on a bill to legalise soccer betting. Members of the Christian Coalition Against Soccer Betting sang and prayed while holding up red and yellow signs. About 30 people had joined the gathering by late afternoon. A few were expected to stay overnight, while the rest would return today, said spokesman Choi Chi-sum. The protesters say that legalising soccer betting will lead to an increase in compulsive gamblers, especially among the young. 'Many young people will start gambling if soccer betting is legalised because it is an activity that they like the most,' Mr Choi said. 'The younger they start the more likely they stay a gambler.' Even though the minimum legal betting age in Hong Kong is 18, Mr Choi said there were many ways to work around that rule. 'They can have someone else place the bet for them. It's the same way youngsters under 18 can get hold of pornographic magazines,' he said. Legco is expected to vote on the bill today, which if passed will make the Hong Kong Jockey Club the only legal bookmaker for football matches. Legislators in the Liberal Party, Hong Kong Progressive Alliance and a few independents said they would vote in favour. The Democratic Party is opposed. Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho Chi-ping said yesterday he was worried that the government would not get enough votes and would persuade undecided legislators into voting for the bill. Wong Hak-lim, spokesman for the Great Coalition to Oppose Legalisation of Soccer Betting, which represents 55 education, social welfare and religious groups, said it would make last-minute efforts to press legislators who have not expressed their view on the bill. They include Lee Cheuk-yan, Bernard Charnwut Chan and Lau Chin-shek. Mr Wong said the two coalitions were due to meet in front of the Legislative Council building at 1pm today, but added the turnout was not expected to be large as most people had to go to work. 'We think the government's main objective is to get taxes from legalisation,' he said. 'This would greatly impact on young people. The government said it won't allow youths to participate, but we don't think it will follow through with its promise.'