The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has reported an 11.6% decline in turnover to HK$218.8 billion (US$28.2 billion) for the year ended 30 June 2020, with resilience in racing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic partially offset by lower returns from football and the Mark Six lottery.
Racing turnover fell just 3.2% for the year to HK$121 billion (US$15.6 billion), with the HKJC noting it had managed to navigate COVID-19 without missing a single race all season.
It did so “with the full support of the Government and by implementing stringent health measures, including strict attendance limits at racecourses,” the HKJC said on Tuesday.
“The Club’s success, when much of global sport and racing was shut down, earned accolades around the world. It also enabled the Club to provide valuable stay-at-home-entertainment at a time when residents were being urged to avoid public gatherings.”
However, football betting was heavily impacted by the cancellation and postponement of leagues around the world which saw 3,273 matches lost and football betting turnover subsequently down 18.8% to HK$92.6 billion (US$11.9 billion).
Mark Six turnover fell 39% to HK$5.1 billion (US$658 million).
Nevertheless, the non-profit organization – renowned as the single largest taxpayer in Hong Kong – said it still contributed HK$25.3 billion (US$3.3 billion) to the community including HK$19.9 billion (US$2.6 billion) in duty and profits tax to the government, HK$800 million (US$103.2 million) to the Lotteries Fund and HK$4.5 billion (US$580.6 million) in donations approved by the Club’s Charities Trust. The Trust’s donation included a commitment of HK$346 million (US$44.6 million) to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ultimately everything comes back to the Club’s purpose – the betterment of our society – which must, and will, remain the same,” said the HKJC Chairman, Philip Chen.
“We will continue to enhance our much-admired position by doing the right things and doing them right. We will strive hard to improve our business results so that we can maintain our charity donations.”