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HKJC to pay football betting tax annually for next five years

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is required to pay an additional Special Football Betting Duty of HK$2.4bn (US$310m) per annum for the next five years.

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The football betting tax – which was outlined in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s 2023-24 Budget – must be paid from 2023/24 to 2027/28. It amounts to an additional HK$12bn betting duty from the HKJC to the public purse.

The HKJC noted that during the Budget consultation, it expressed its views and strong reservation on any increase in betting duty rates, which it said are “already the highest in the world.”

It added that any permanent hike in betting duty rates will create structural problems that will irreversibly damage its integrated business model and continued competitiveness, with only illegal and offshore betting operators benefiting from the situation.

Moreover, the HKJC explained that the increase will adversely impact the group’s ability to contribute to the community through its donations to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust on a sustainable basis.

“The Club reiterates the paramount need to maintain our global and sustainable competitiveness, to effectively combat illegal and offshore betting operators, and to seize the market opportunities through strategic investments in our IT systems and racing assets to strengthen our role as an international racing and wagering hub, similar to the role of Hong Kong being the country’s International Financial Centre,” a statement from the HKJC read.

“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 horseracing which stand at 72.5% to 75%.”

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