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HKJC Chairman Backs Bet Changes

Friday, 2nd September 2005

In Hong Kong, HK Jockey Club chairman Ronald Arculli cited the HK Government's acceptance of his Club's proposals for betting duty modernisation (& its intention to table a Bill for Legislative Council approval before the end of this year) as "a major step forward for both the Club & the HK community at large". He declared: "I cannot stress enough the importance of this Bill for the Club & for the support revenue from racing provides to government tax & the community. Racing's existing turnover-based betting duty of 13.5% is 1 of the highest in the world & thus limits the pay-out we can offer customers. Illegal & unauthorised off-shore operators, for obvious reasons, make no such deduction. Their price advantage has continuously siphoned billions of betting dollars away from legal channels. In short, the current tax system means that however hard we try, we cannot be price-competitive; in consequence, government tax has suffered & charity support may be affected long term. The proposed system, on the other hand, taxes the gross margin rather than betting turnover. It levels the playing field & gives us the chance to tackle the illegal competition head-on & hopefully claw back a significant amount of the illegal betting dollars for HK."

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