Mobile phone operators are expecting a soccer betting-led surge in business, with customers already queueing to buy upgraded services that will allow them to gamble via their phones. The fact that most European soccer matches kick-off when Hong Kong Jockey Club betting shops are closed means gamblers are likely to rely more on online and mobile services. 'You bet,' said Sunday Communications group managing director Bruce Hicks when asked if many people had bought the new packages yesterday. 'If this is any indication of future success, I am pretty excited.' Phones will be used to place bets as well as obtain data such as odds and results when betting begins on August 1. 'Sport is one of our industry's killer applications,' CSL director of business Tony Seeto said. 'We have high hopes that it could turn into more business opportunities.' A Jockey Club spokesman said there were 1.2 million betting accounts in Hong Kong, of which 56,000 were mobile users and 36,000 online users. Operators are also expecting increased income from downloaded video or high-speed data and the increased exchange of mobile phone text messages. The launch of soccer betting has also come at a perfect time for Hutchison Telecom, the largest local mobile operator, as it plans to launch third-generation mobile services in Hong Kong next month that will enable video downloads and high-speed web browsing. Agnes Nardi, managing director of Hutchison Telecom, said: 'With our upcoming '3' services, customers can even catch near-live video goals, video match highlights, live score updates and breaking soccer news.'