HKJC CEO calls for more collaboration in Asian racing

Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges says joint efforts are needed to improve integrity, fight illegal betting and expand audiences.

Hong Kong.- Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chairman of the Asian Racing Federation and CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has urged racing leaders to embrace change and collaborate in the face of global challenges.

Giving his opening address as the 39th Asian Racing Conference in Melbourne, Engelbrecht-Bresges told an audience of over 700 delegates from 35 countries, that joint efforts were needed to uphold global standards in rules and practices, fight illegal betting, expand audiences and brand racing as a sport of the highest integrity.

Engelbrecht-Bresges identified nine key challenges facing the industry:

  • industry fragmentation, 
  • integrity, illegal and off-shore betting operators, 
  • social acceptability, 
  • competition from other sports, 
  • an ageing customer base, 
  • engaging Gen Y & Z, 
  • branding racing as a global sport, 
  • sustainability, 
  • human resources. 

He called for fundamental changes and collaboration to address these challenges and ensure the long-term future of the sport. During the conference’s business programme, he pointed to the challenges posed for further World Pool growth by a widening gap between racing and betting on other sports and the growth of illegal betting. 

He said: “Global liquidity is the key for all pari-mutuel operators and in turn for racing industry revenue, and updating racing wagering, integration protocols for a global platform is imperative.”

Michael Fitzsimons, executive director of wagering products at Hong Kong Jockey Club, reinforced this view: He said: “Significant changes to protocols are required to enable a wider range of exotic products and synchronise the betting cut-off time with all operators to ensure customer confidence.”

See also: HKJC opposes increase in football betting tax to 80%

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