Visa Rejection Possible for Filipino Helpers Nabbed for Gambling in HK

Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong who had been arrested for illegal gambling in public may have their visa applications rejected by the Immigration Department.

According to Hong Kong News, police authorities have notified the government agency about Filipino domestic workers caught gambling in the city, leading the department to impose more strict approach on workers’ visa applications, said Shiella Grace Estrada, secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions.

Estrada said the union had received reports of many visa applications from domestic workers being rejected as police get the Hong Kong ID card when a domestic worker is arrested for gambling and the information is sent to the Immigration Department.

“Even if it’s just the first or second (illegal gambling) offense and the case is not brought to court because no money was recovered, it’s still forwarded (to Immigration). They’re now stricter,” she added.

The Hong Kong Police sent a warning letter to the FADWU against Filipino domestic workers gambling illegally in Central.

Police acknowledged receiving complaints that Filipino domestic workers were found gambling at four specific locations in Central: Chater Garden, Lambeth Walk Garden, near Murray Road Multi-Storey Carpark Building and under the footbridge connecting Murray Road and Chater Road.

Under Hong Kong’s Gambling Ordinance, it is against the law to gamble in the streets and gambling establishments should be licensed. Card games, chess or other games could be played, but there should be no money or other bets involved, regardless of the amount.

Any person who contravenes the law is liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of HK$5 million and imprisonment of up to seven years.