Seven Filipinos and three Chinese nationals were each fined HK$500 (US$63) at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for illegal gambling.

The defendants were arrested last December when police raided an illegal casino allegedly operated by a 29-year-old Hong Kong man surnamed Tsang in North Point on Hong Kong Island, reported.

The seven Filipinos who pleaded guilty were Rolando Ledesma, 49, Carolina Fung, 46, RJ Raqueño, 30, Robert Aromin, 42, Thelma G Abuan, 43, Liziel Retrita, 44, and Yiu Ka-wing (Michael G David), 28. Their fine of HK$500 each was to be taken from their bail money.

Meanwhile Tsang, who faced charges of possessing a dangerous drug and operating a gambling establishment, did not appear in court. Another suspect, a Thai woman facing a charge of illegal gambling, also did not appear in court.

They were ordered arrested by magistrate Peter Law and their bail was confiscated.

According to Hong Kong law, any person who gambles in an illegal establishment is liable to a fine of HK$10,000 and imprisonment for three months on a first conviction. The punishment is a fine of HK$30,000 and imprisonment for nine months on a third or subsequent conviction.