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Hong Kong Revenue Slide Continues
Meanwhile, in further Hong Kong racing-related news, the conclusion of the Hong Kong season last Sunday saw "approximately US$7.73-billion in total handle, a 4.3% decrease from the 2004-05 season and the continuation of a 10 year slide." According to thoroughbredtimes.com, "Ron Arculli, chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, pointed to the handle figures in emphasizing the importance of a bill that would reform the way Hong Kong racing is taxed." Arculli told the South China Morning Post that "there are three key reasons for the decrease in turnover: the effects of illegal bookmaking, the inflexible betting takeout rates, and the more liberal betting policy in neighboring countries, particularly in Macau and Singapore." The news is also sobering for global racing administrators faced with rampant worldwide growth of sports betting.