Hong Kong Jockey Club Registers Record Turnover and Community Contributions Despite Economic Headwinds

Published September 6, 2023 by OCR Editor

Hong Kong Jockey Club Registers Record Turnover and Community Contributions Despite Economic Headwinds

In a year fraught with economic challenges exacerbated by the global pandemic, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has defied the odds, registering a record turnover and making a historic contribution to the community.

Amidst a year marked by economic uncertainties and pandemic challenges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) announced impressive results for the 2022/23 financial year at its Annual General Meeting on 5 September. Despite an overall turnover increase, despite a local downturn in wagering on Hong Kong racing, the club has emerged resilient, contributing a record HK$35.9 billion (£3.6 billion) to the community.

Strategic Adaptation Fuels Growth

Local wagering on Hong Kong racing saw a slight dip of 1.3% for the financial year. However, the shortfall was more than compensated for by a successful pivot to commingling—exporting world-class racing overseas—which saw a 3.0% increase, contributing to 19.6% of the total turnover on Hong Kong racing. As a result, the club's income from wagering on Hong Kong racing increased by 1.5%.

Additionally, leveraging state-of-the-art technology and pool liquidity, HKJC launched the World Pool, based on the simulcast of top overseas races. The World Pool events and total turnover on simulcasting saw an impressive 12.5% rise, making Hong Kong a global hub for wagering on the world's best races.

Football and Lottery Betting Show Promise

The football betting segment experienced a robust performance, with a 9.1% increase in turnover to HK$156.9 billion (£15.9 billion), partly fueled by the World Cup and the club's new wagering system. Meanwhile, the Mark Six lottery, which returned to three weekly draws, surged 29.2% to HK$7.5 billion (£762 million).

Record Contributions Despite Taxation Hurdles

Despite the club's income remaining flat due to increased Special Football Betting Duty, HKJC achieved a record overall turnover of HK$304.8 billion (£31 billion). This feat enabled a record contribution to the community of HK$35.9 billion (£3.6 billion), including HK$7.3 billion (£742 million) in approved charity donations.

The club has expressed concerns over any permanent increase in taxation rates, as it would make them less price competitive against illegal and overseas betting operators. Nevertheless, HKJC has committed to maintaining its regular approved charity donations at not less than HK$4.5 billion (£457 million) a year.

Charitable and Community Impact

Over the past decade, HKJC's Charities Trust has become one of the world's top ten charity donors. The Trust's new triennial strategy focuses on five pillars: Positive Ageing & Elderly Care, Children and youth Development, Healthy Community, Talent & Sector Development, and Sports & Culture, with sustainability as a new strategic theme.

The Road Ahead

Club Chairman Michael Lee and CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges emphasized the club's resilience and agility in these trying times. HKJC's strategic focus on exporting its world-class racing and creating the World Pool, coupled with a strong performance in football betting, has allowed the club to make a record contribution to the community despite a challenging business environment.

In a time when many organizations struggle to stay afloat, HKJC's robust performance is a testament to strategic adaptation and community commitment. Through its resilience, the club not only continues to entertain but also significantly contributes to the social and economic fabric of Hong Kong. 

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has shown that strategic adaptation and commitment to community welfare can result in survival and growth even in economic challenges. The club's record contributions to the community reflect its longstanding role as a leading institution in Hong Kong's social, cultural, and economic spheres.

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