Hong Kong Jockey Club Seeks to Lure Macau Gamblers

Hong Kong Jockey Club is seeking to raise revenue by keeping more Hong Kong residents from taking the one-hour ferry ride to Macau and through revenue-sharing agreements, said Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

The goal is to lure back about a third of the HK$26 billion Hong Kong residents bet in Macau the past year, he said in an interview on July 12.

Hitting that target may not be easy, according to Tim Craighead, senior gaming analyst at Bloomberg Industries. “I don’t really consider Macau as having drained the people away from horse racing,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like there has really been a growing base of Hong Kongers that have been opting for Macau compared to the Jockey Club.”

Engelbrecht-Bresges said another goal is to attract as much as HK$10 billion of bets on Hong Kong races annually through so-called commingling arrangements with overseas partners. The club in August 2007 approved a plan to accept bets on its races from the U.S. through the Nevada Gaming Commission.

(Corrects story published July 15 to remove inaccurate comparison with Nevada’s gaming revenue in first three paragraphs.)
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