The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has announced it is to begin paying a “special football betting duty” of HK$2.4bn (PS253.3m /EUR287.5m/US$305.8m) per year in line with the government’s latest budget.
The new duty will be effective in the 2023-24 financial years and continue until 2027-28. The HKJC will pay a total amount of HK12.00bn for the five-year period.
After the HKJC last month criticized’s plans to raise the region’s football betting tax, warning that it could “irreversibly damage” its business model, the HKJC confirmed the new duty.
HKJC reiterated this point during the budget consultation. They noted that Hong Kong’s betting duties rates are already amongst the highest in the globe and that any increase could be a benefit to illegal and offshore betting operators.
The HKJC also stated that this increase would negatively impact the Club’s ability and capacity to support the community through its donations towards the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
The Club stated that it understood the reasoning behind Hong Kong’s temporary increase in football betting duties, despite the fact that the city is still recovering from the Covid-19 epidemic both economically and socially.
The HKJC also pledged to maintain its current level in charity donations to the community – which amounted HK$4.5bn 2021-22 – over the five-year period.
The HKJC stated that the Club reiterated the importance of maintaining our global and sustainable competitiveness. It also stressed the need to combat illegal and offshore betting operators.
“In this regard we strongly appeal for the government to critically examine and reduce the long-term betting duty rates, which are the highest in all of the world, notably on horse racing, which currently stand at 72.5%-75%. We need the support from the government to allow the Club to increase simulcast and global pool opportunities. We also ask the government to review the licensing conditions for football betting. This will allow the Club to be more competitive and flexible to meet the ever-increasing competitions from offshore and illegal betting operators. It will also help to reduce the negative impact of the increased football betting duty payments on revenues.