GAMBLING is legal in China, and the first casino is open for business. That's the claim from a friendly chap called Bob Silzer, whose call was so interesting we didn't mind that he rang at 5 am. Bob runs Advanced Gaming Technology Inc, a Vancouver company traded on NASDAQ in the United States, which we reported on two weeks ago after it claimed to have a stake in a casino in Guangdong province. He said that he had visited the site, and indeed his lawyers have just got back from the place and report that it has been open for business - Hong Kong dollars only, ladies and gentlemen - since August 10. We pointed out that we couldn't remember anything appearing in the mainland papers about this marvellous place. ''Ah, the grand GRAND opening is on August 26th,'' he explained. It is in Gaoming, about halfway between Foshan and Zhaoqing, and not Maoming as we surmised before, and is for members only. Last week we bumped into someone who had been once and said it was a town with ''50,000 people if you include the chickens''. The whole operation is about 110,000 square feet and Bob says his firm is going to install its equipment on the third floor. His partner is a firm called Gaoming Caesar International, which has received US$600,000 in cash and 600,000 AGT shares in exchange for allowing Bob and his electronic bingo machines through the door. Bob said his partner is a Hong Kong company, yet there's no name even remotely like this in the Hong Kong register of companies. If this place stays open, it would be quite a U-turn. When a couple of Malaysian companies announced a similar deal earlier this year, the People's Daily thundered in an editorial: ''The winners indulge in eating and drinking and whoring. The losers end up stealing, picking pockets and mugging.'' It doesn't exactly sound as though they're going to start a crash programme of casino-construction. Dining car RUMBLING along in the MTR yesterday lunchtime, Lai See saw something truly unusual: a woman breast-feeding her baby. It caused some quiet surprise among other passengers, but most people didn't notice it as the woman was rather skilled and discreet. On the way out the station we checked the list of rules for passengers. They ban riding motorcycles on MTR platforms and other unlikely stuff, but there is nothing against breast-feeding - rather progressive. But the woman and baby were nevertheless breaking the law. Remember folks: no eating or drinking in the MTR. No fixed abode THERE are occasional sightings of Ronald Li Fook-shiu, the former stock exchange chief who last year was released after 973 days in Stanley Prison for accepting bribes. Is he in Hong Kong? Or has he gone to Canada as his relatives have said? Or has he gone to Tonga - he reputedly holds a Tongan passport? The latest sighting is not ''The Headmaster'' in person, but in spirit. He has filed a writ in the High Court trying to evict someone called Lai Sing-yip and his Kiu On Medicine Building from a shop in Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay. Ronald owns the shop, the writ says. Incidentally, the tenancy agreement letting it at $15,000 a month was signed while Ronald was behind bars. Usually, writs contain the full address of the person filing it. But not this one. Direct Failshot THERE'S a whole load of direct marketing conferences coming up and quite a few people have told us that their offices are getting snowed under with mailings about them. It's predictable but true: lots of the literature from these supposed experts in mailshots is being sent out to people who have changed job, changed name or died. They're all big on hot tips. Some chap called Drayton Bird, whose write-ups claim he is ''the best direct marketing man in the world'', even offers one for free. His mailshot advises: ''Always give people the option to say yes or no.'' Does he follow his own advice? Yes, he does. You can tick the box saying ''No thank you'' and presumably get yourself off their mailing list. Yet another mailshot for a different speaker from the same conference firm, Times Direct, didn't follow Mr Bird's advice and only has a ''Yes'' response. Maybe they should go on their own conferences. Prose worthy? ALWAYS keen to promote more corporate poetry, here's the verse Sun Hung Kai Properties penned and set to music to promote its development called Pristine Villa. My dreams come alive in Pristine Villa, I've dreamed of a home like Pristine Villa, That place in my heart where all my hopes come true, The clear blue sky above, the green hills all around me, The dawning of a bright and clear new day, My dreams come alive in Pristine Villa. David Forshaw of Happy Valley tried to sing along, but failed. ''I never was terribly musical,'' he said. After reading the Wordsworthian prose prospective buyers may be surprised to see Pristine Villa is in Sha Tin. Actually, the site genuinely is rather rural and attractive - or rather it was, before 14 residential blocks totalling 568,000 square feet were built there.