Since 1871 privately run gambling businesses have been banned in Hong Kong; however mahjong-hosting venues have been tolerated by the Hong Kong government. After World War II the government has required such venues to obtain Mahjong/Tin Kau Licences with the constraint that such businesses must be known, in Legal English, as Mahjong Schools - a white lie to get around the ban on privately run gambling businesses. Although technically "schools", these Mahjong/Tin Kau Licences are issued by Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority.
If a player plays mahjong in a mahjong school, he has to pay a portion of his gain if he wins a game. This is the main source of income of a mahjong school. To attract players, mahjong schools provide free drinks, free food, and sometimes lucky money. In addition to resident umpires, modern mahjong schools also have closed-circuit television installed to deter cheating and theft.
There are only 0 fan hand and 1 fan hand. Higher score hands are counted as 1 fan. Hence the pace of a game is quite fast as the players do not spend time on getting high scores.
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