The Hong Kong Jockey Club has ended its season at Happy Valley, having reported a ‘record’ turnover of HK$1.6 billion (£160 million) for the track following what it described as a ‘season like no other’.
Despite the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, total turnover for 2019/20 season had only dropped by 2.6% when compared to the previous season, with commingling turnover up 25.3% on 2018/19 results.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, commented: “While we recognise that the Coronavirus situation is an ongoing battle, and we must remain vigilant, I can say that it has been heartening to see the Hong Kong community pull together and play a crucial part in combating its effects; the Hong Kong Jockey Club has been quick to reflect and enact those safeguarding measures and policies while continuing to race.
“We are pleased to have been able to complete a full season but of course our prime focus throughout, and a real challenge, was to act responsibly to protect the public health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider community, at every turn, while at the same time balancing that with the desire for our sport to continue.”
Last week, HKJC confirmed that it had closed seven of its off-course betting branches (OCBBs) following a spike in coronavirus cases in the region.
Due to the ‘worsening COVID-19 situation’ in Hong Kong, the Jockey Club emphasised that it would be closely monitoring the situation to work out whether more OCBBs will be required to temporarily close.