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

Police are informing the Immigration Department about Filipino domestic workers caught gambling illegally in the city, leading the department to become stricter on the workers’ visa applications, hongkongnews.com.hk reported, citing Shiella Grace Estrada, secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions (FADWU).

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 letter to the FADWU, warning against Filipino domestic workers gambling illegally in Central, but not to the Indonesian or Thai groups.

Police said they had received complaints that Filipino domestic workers were found gambling in four 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, no matter the amount.

Any person who contravenes the law is liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of $5,000,000 and up to seven years imprisonment.

Read: Police issue warning against maids gambling in Central