CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Hong Kong Jockey Club
POWER SCORE: 1,295
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
- Ensured HKJC complete a full racing season in the face of COVID-19
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has good reason to be more than satisfied. While many operators within the global gaming industry are struggling to survive, The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), under his tutelage for more than a decade now, has barely missed a beat.
In September, The HKJC recorded the highest opening day turnover in its history with total betting reaching HK$1.38 billion – 6.8% higher than the previous record set in the 2017/2018 season. Locals betting reached HK$1.13 billion – up 4.6% on the previous best – while commingling grew by 18% to HK$247 million.
The data is even more impressive given The HKJC recorded its lowest ever attendance on the very same day, having been forced to restrict entry to essential staff and associates in order to comply with Hong Kong’s COVID-19 safety measures.
It also came just days after The HKJC reported a respectable 11.6% decline in turnover to HK$218.8 billion (US$28.2 billion) for the year ended 30 June 2020, with racing turnover down just 3.2% for the year to HK$121 billion (US$15.6 billion).
Arriving in 1998 as racing director before taking on the top job nine years later, former German youth football team player Engelbrecht-Bresges has transformed The HKJC from a second-rate, highly introverted organization to one that is the envy of the racing world.
Under his watch, The 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.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.