Mahjong has been a common culture of China, Hong Kong, Japan, and other Asian regions. It shows a high degree of influence from Chinese culture.
In Hong Kong:
- During a Chinese wedding banquet, guests play Mahjong during the waiting time.
- A count-down Mahjong before the Chinese New Year or the New Year is a typical practice for many Hong Kong families.
- While most people have a Mahjong set at home, most Chinese restaurants offer sets of Mahjong equipment for their customers.
- Officially, casinos are illegal in Hong Kong. However, there are legal Mahjong schools, where gamblers can play Mahjong.
- The elderly are encouraged to play Mahjong as brain exercise.
- To invite a person to a Mahjong game is an indication of friendliness in Chinese Culture.
However, Mahjong games also create problems. Addiction to Mahjong is a common type of problem gambling. Mahjong is also a favourite medium for bribery - the person giving the bribe will intentionally lose large sums of money to the person being bribed. Recent studies also suggest Mahjong can cause epilepsy
Cantopop singer Sam Hui's song The Mahjong Heroes (打雀英雄傳) talks about somebody playing Mahjong.
There are several Hong Kong and Japanese Mah Jong themed movies.