HK customs seizes 16,000 Mark Six lottery tickets being smuggled to mainland China & Macau

Mark Six. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mark Six. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department has seized around 16,000 Mark Six lottery tickets, with some already qualifying for prize winnings of around HK$70,000 (US$8,918) in total.

According to HK01, the smuggling bust was made in the waters west of Hong Kong last Wednesday after officers from the department intercepted a river vessel. 

The tickets seized were all generated by computers and they were purchased for about HK$330,000. Authorities believe the tickets were being smuggled for sale in mainland China and Macau.

The online portal said it understood that the department enlisted the Hong Kong Jockey Club to check all the tickets and found that about 600 were already redeemable for prizes totaling around HK$70,000. 

But because the tickets are evidence, they have been returned to the department, it added. 

It also said that the department is seeking the advice of the Department of Justice on whether the prize winnings for the tickets could still be collected. 

According to the Jockey Club’s website, valid lottery tickets must be presented for payment within 60 days of the date after the relevant draw.

The online portal quoted the Customs and Excise Department as saying that it is the first time that Mark Six lottery tickets have been smuggled abroad. 

The batch of lottery tickets that was seized contains bets for the draw on Sep. 22. 

According to HK01, the department believes buyers in mainland China and Macau were interested in buying Mark Six tickets for the draw because the jackpot was relatively higher. 

The first prize for that draw — which requires a ticket to contain all six numbers that have been drawn — had gone up to HK$24 million after no one took home the first prize for the previous three draws. The minimum first prize for Mark Six is HK$8 million.

Authorities suspect that is why the smuggling group purchased a large number of tickets in Hong Kong since they could be smuggled to Macau and the mainland for great profit.

They also said that they believed each lottery ticket could have been resold to make a profit of HK$4 to HK$13 per sale. The lowest bet for a Mark Six ticket is HK$10.

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