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HKJC Chief Appeals For Government Flexibility

Friday, 3rd July 2009

The Hong Kong Jockey Club's CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has "appealed to the Government to consider giving the Club more flexibility, so as to assist it in keeping its competitiveness against offshore and illegal operators." This follows an estimation by the Club that its race betting turnover for the just completed season of HK$66.82 billion (from 78 race meetings), declined HK$865 million. That led to estimated betting duty paid to the HK government slipping "two percent to HK$8.119 billion." Although "pleased with the season's turnover figure in the light of the economic downturn," Engelbrecht-Bresges noted: "The current tax rate of at least 72.5 percent on gross margin is five times higher than in Britain. Having such a high betting tax rate has made our task very difficult in the light of maintaining competitiveness, thereby weakening our ability to vie with illegal bookmakers and operators."

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