One illegal bookmaker yesterday welcomed the licensing of soccer betting as a 'publicity boom', despite warnings from the Jockey Club that underground betting operators should prepare for a 'long battle ahead'. The illicit bookie, who asked to be named only as Mr Lee, said legalisation would raise public awareness of soccer betting. 'It is just like somebody is advertising for you,' the underground bookmaker told the Post. 'It will make it legitimate and people won't have to whisper when they are placing a bet. 'Even housewives might jump into it.' Mr Lee told how he was not concerned by the threat of police action. 'I'm not that afraid. You make money. What should you be afraid of?' Mr Lee said he fielded 'various sorts of bets' involving sums of money anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. He claims that the advantage of underground bookmakers over the legalised betting would be the rolling credit system offered by some illegal bookies. Outlining the details of the launch of legalised soccer betting on August 1, the Jockey Club's executive director of betting, Henry Chan Shing-kai, yesterday admitted the challenge was to 'compete' with black market bookies. 'Those in the past who have used illegal bookies should now patronise us,' said Mr Chan. 'If you would say we are being led by illegal bookies I would not agree. 'But we are competing with them. And we have to look at what is more popular in the market ... it is a long battle ahead.' He said the odds for each match would be decided by a panel of experts - including members of the Jockey Club and others recruited from overseas - and based on international standards.