The announcement comes after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced a proposed 2023-24 Budget. Within that proposal, a Special Football Betting Duty (SFBD) is established. The duty, which is effectively a charge on all bets for football, is expected to deliver HK$12 billion ($1.53 billion) in proceeds over the next five years. A breakdown of this total estimates that approximately HK$2.4 billion ($305.9 million) will be payable by the HKJC annually starting from the 2023-2024 financial year through the 2027-2028 financial year.
The announcement comes after the HKJC has felt the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time had to overcome an uncertain economic environment. Keeping in mind the impact of those circumstances, the organization previously said that an increase in the betting duty “will create structural problems irreversibly damaging the Club’s successful integrated business model and continued competitiveness, while benefiting only illegal and offshore betting operators.” Moreover, the HKJC said that the SFBD will significantly impact its sustainable ability to help with donations to communities via the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Despite the described difficulties, the HKJC admitted it is aware that Hong Kong is currently on the way to economic recovery. It added that it “understands the rationale behind the Government’s decision to impose additional football betting duty of HK$2.4 billion per annum for the coming five years, with a total fixed amount of HK$12 billion.”
“In this regard, we strongly appeal to the Government to critically review and reduce the betting duty rates on a long term basis, which are the highest in the world, in particular on horse racing which stand at 72.5% to 75%,“
explains a statement released by the HKJC
According to the Club, in the upcoming period, its income will be significantly reduced primarily due to the SFBD which will also impact its ability to donate to the Trust. However, the HKJC said that the Trust will continue its regular charity donations to the community. For 2021-2022, the Trust has contributed HK$4.5 billion ($573.5 million) in donations to the community, explained the HKJC.
Additionally, the Club reiterated its position supporting global and sustainable competitiveness, explaining that such a process will help in the fight against offshore and illegal operators. Last but not least, the Club urged the Government to reevaluate the betting duty rates and reduce them, considering that they are some of the highest in the industry.