The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) saw total racecourse attendance approach 2m – its highest figure in eight years – during its fiscal 2011-2012 ending June 30. Accordingly, total revenues rose 9.7% to H$28.42b (US$3.66b) of which the total return to the community by the non-profit organization – via taxes, betting duties, charitable donations and contributions to the Lotteries Fund – was a record HK$19.06b ($2.46b). Chairman T. Brian Stevenson called it “a most successful year for the club” and by extension, “a very successful year for the wider community of Hong Kong.” The HKJC’s tax contribution amounted to 6.8% of all taxes collected by the Inland Revenue Department, ensuring the HKJC’s continued status as Hong Kong’s single largest taxpayer.
Combined net margin on the HKJC’s racing, football betting and Mark Six lottery operations rose 6.2% to HK$8.11b. Despite 2011-2012 having two less race meetings than the previous year, racing turnover rose 2.6% to HK$84b and net margin was up 1.3% to HK$3.7b. And despite what Stevenson described as “highly inflexible regulations” limiting the amount of overseas race simulcasts the HKJC can provide its punters, the channel’s net margin rose 20.4% to HK$59m. Football betting’s net margin grew 10.7% to HK$3.94b on the strength of the Euro 2012 footie extravaganza. The Mark Six lottery saw turnover rise 12% to HK$7.69b, from which the HKJC’s commission was HK$462m. Operating costs also rose 8.2% to HK$7.35b, which the HKJC took pains to point out was lower than the growth in revenue over the same period.
The HKJC also announced the re-election of Stevenson as chairman and Dr. Simon S. O. Ip as deputy chairman for 2012-2013. Four stewards – Anthony W. K. Chow, Dr. Christopher Cheng Wai Chee, Michael T. H. Lee and Sir C.K. Chow – were re-elected to the HKJC board for three-year terms. Gary Chow, formerly of PCCW-HKT Telephone Limited, was appointed as executive director of Channels and Organizational Development, which controls the HKJC’s Cashbet, Telebet and Interactive Services betting operations. Chow’s new gig officially begins Oct. 3.
Things are not so bountiful across the water in Macau, where the Macau Jockey Club’s betting controller told Business Daily that business was off during the MJC’s 2011-2012 season, which concluded in late August. Ronnie Chan Yiu Jok said that when final numbers are released, he expects the MJC to post a 10% drop in turnover for the year. In the 2010-2011 season, the MJC lost MOP17.8m (US$2.23m) on turnover of MOP1.6b ($200m). Turnover for the first six months of 2012 was down 24% year-on-year to MOP869m ($109m).