Turnover in the Hong Kong Jockey Club's 2022-23 season grew 0.5% year-on-year to HK141.10bn (£13.78bn/€16.03bn/US$18.05bn) as the contribution from international turnover and commingled pools offset local declines.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s (HKJC) 2022-23 campaign featured a total of 88 meetings and comprised 835 Hong Kong races and 299 overseas simulcast races.

The increase in turnover, HKJC said, was down to the rising popularity of simulcast races. Turnover from betting on simulcast events jumped 12.5% year-on-year to $11.80bn.

Most simulcast turnover came from customers in Hong Kong, with this rising by 11.3% to $10.50bn. Turnover from the HKJC’s World Pool overseas customers and partners was also up 23.0% to $1.30bn.

While local racing in Hong Kong remained by far the primary source of turnover, contributing $129.30bn, this was 0.5% lower than the previous season.

Of the local racing total, $104.00bn came from consumers in Hong Kong, while $25.39bn was generated by commingled pools.

Total turnover from Hong Kong players across all races reached $114.44bn, down 0.3%. In contrast, commingling turnover increased 3.9% year-on-year to $26.71bn.

Record season finale

The HKJC also noted that the season concluded with a record meeting at Sha Tin Racecourse on 16 July. The meeting, which included seven twilight fixtures, drew $2.07bn in turnover, a record single meeting and season finale.

Meanwhile, overall betting duty for the season reached $14.15bn, a slight increase on the previous campaign. The amount of turnover retained by HKJC for operating expenses and charity increased 1.8% to $6.39bn.

In addition, the HKJC noted an increase in attendance figures, mainly due to the removal of all remaining Covid-19 measures. Visitors to the Sha Tin course jumped 210.3% to 826,000, while Happy Valley attendees hiked 234.9% to 395,000.

“Under such a challenging economic situation, our overall season racing turnover of $141.10bn is very satisfactory,” HKJC chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said. “The strength of the turnover reflects the quality of our products and the ongoing support of our customers.”

HKJC CEO warns of offshore threat

However Engelbrecht-Bresges warned the Jockey Club faced significant challenges from offshore and illegal bookmakers. To ensure its racing stayed competitive and maintains its world-leading position, HKJC will invest in its racecourse assets and look to enhance its customer experience.

“Hong Kong’s world-class racing is not only built on our state-of-art racing facilities, but more importantly a rich and growing pool of racing talents across all levels from trainers, jockeys, veterinarians to stable assistants and farriers,” he added.

“HKJC is committed to attracting world-class talents from overseas and nurturing high-potential homegrown talents. I am delighted to see our racing talents, and the horses they train and take care of, deliver remarkable performances this season to local and global fans. They are the future of Hong Kong’s racing.”

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