The suicide of a young man in Tuen Mun in Hong Kong’s New Territories on Tuesday may have been linked to gambling debts. The 22-year-old man died after jumping from a building in a public housing estate.
He was found lying unconscious outside Mun Yu House of Sam Shing Estate at midnight, Sing Tao Daily reported. He was sent to Tuen Mun Hospital but was pronounced dead later.
Police found a mobile phone and a wallet containing an identity card in a corridor on the 14th floor of the building, but no suicide note was found.
When police officers examined the man’s personal computer and bank statements, they found he was a soccer gambler who had a credit-card overdraft of at least HK$110,000 (US$14,075).
Police did not rule out the possibility that the suicide was related to the debt.
The man’s father told police that he did not know his son had been betting on soccer games and was unaware that he had been under any financial pressure.
Yueng Muk-ying, an officer of the Even Center of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, a charitable organization that provides counseling and treatment services for problem gambling, said the number of young people who bet on soccer matches was on the increase, Oriental Daily reported.
So far this year the center has handled 80 cases in which the gamblers were aged 29 or below. About 17% of the gamblers said they once considered committing suicide, 60% had suffered emotional stress and 40% had bad relationships with family members.
Fully 40% of them had racked up more than HK$100,000 of debt.
Yeung said young people should seek counseling if they have found they have gambling problems.