17 Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Hong Kong Jockey Club
POWER SCORE: 1,271
POSITION LAST YEAR: 15
CLAIMS TO FAME
Driving force behind the modernization and revitalization of the HKJC
Has helped HKJC become Hong Kong’s biggest employer
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) continues to soar, setting a new record for turnover in 2017-18 at HK$238 billion – a 9.9% increase on 2016-17 and the second year in a row HKJC reached new heights.
Run as a non-profit, the HKJC is the city’s biggest taxpayer and donates millions in surplus revenue each year to charities and community causes. It is also the most successful of any racing club in the world, led by its core horse racing business which saw turnover grow 7.9% last season to HK$124.2 billion.
The man behind this incredible success is CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. Arriving in 1998 as racing director before taking on the top job nine years later, the former German youth football team player has transformed HKJC from a second-rate, highly introverted organization to one that is the envy of the racing world.
Under Engelbrecht-Bresges’s watch, HKJC has invested millions into transforming almost every aspect of the business – from redevelopment of Sha Tin Racecourse under the Racecourse Master Plan to the quality of horses running and extensive customer segmentation work to provide a complete race day experience.
The vastly improved product that is Hong Kong racing has subsequently enjoyed an explosion in popularity which has transferred directly to the betting ring – most notably via commingling with a number of lucrative overseas deals signed since HKJC was granted permission to commingle in 2013. The 88-day 2017-18 season culminated in July with turnover for the final day reaching HK$1.94 billion – the highest ever for an 11-race card – and commingling setting another record at HK$335 million.
In total, the amount wagered with commingling partners throughout the season soared by 154.8% to HK$16.5 billion, up from HK$6.5 billion in 2016-17.
For the full list of 2018 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.