HKJC interested in NBA betting if permitted

HKJC interested in NBA betting if permitted

The chief executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club has expressed an interest in the possibility.

Hong Kong.- Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), has said that the club would be interested in incorporating NBA betting into its offerings if the government allows it. In an interview with The Standard, he said such a move could bring many illegal basketball bets to legal channels.

Engelbrecht-Bresges warned of exponential growth of the illegal betting market in the wake of digitalisation and the advent of cryptocurrency. He estimated that up to 60 per cent of the approximately 150,000 people engaging in illegal basketball betting could be redirected towards legal avenues.

He said, illegal sports betting in Hong Kong, including horse racing, football, basketball, tennis and esports, is worth approximately HK$350bn (US$45bn) a year, with horse racing and football representing 75 per cent and basketball 15 per cent.

However, Engelbrecht-Bresges noted that the HKJC is not yet prepared to introduce NBA betting. He estimated that an investment of HK$1.5bn (US$191.7m) to HK$2.5bn (US$319.6m) would be required in infrastructure and suggested that legislative approval could take up to one-and-a-half years.

In February, the HKJC put forward a proposal to the SAR government, advocating for an expansion of its betting operations. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has advocated for the inclusion of basketball betting.

See also: HKJC World Pool turnover hits record US$946.6m

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GAMBLING REGULATION Hong Kong Jockey Club sports betting