he government-granted monopoly club, which provides pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in the region, saw a record 835 races and 88 meetings that resulted in a 12.1% increase in turnover.
After a period of social unrest in 2019, the Hong Kong Jockey Club returned to its traditional 88-meeting season and figures escalated in contrast with the previous years: hosted local races went from 828 to 835 (which represents an increase by 11%), had 26 more simulcast days (accounting HK$7bn) and 206 more races than ever before.
Of the total revenue numbers, HK$13.7 billion went to the Hong Kong government, 13.6% more than after the last campaign.
“We are delighted to have been able to again complete a full season with a clear focus of ensuring racing to continue while upholding the principle of protecting the public health and safety of our employees, stakeholders and the public”, Winfried Engelbretch-Bresges, HKJC’s chief executive said.
The challenges that the coronavirus pandemic imposed on the club, with health protocols making it impossible to host a busy racing season, led to the creation of a bubble at its two racecourses, Sha Tin Racecourse and Happy Valley Racecourse.
During lockdown, the already struggling “racing bubble” has done everything in its power to keep the sport going.
“Given the circumstances confronting the club, our overall season racing turnover is outstanding”, he remarked. “The growth is testament to the quality of our product and the support of our customers”.
Engelbretch-Bresges acknowledged these figures and credited them to “the importance of horse racing and its people”, and assured that the profitable simulcasts will have “more offer next season”.
The World Pool, created by the Jockey Club and launched at Royal Ascot in 2019, also continued to show excellent growth, with this year’s Royal Ascot King Stand Day resulting in a turnover record of HK$340 million, and a total turnover on World Pool meetings up over 100%.