Hong Kong advances with special football betting tax

The HKJC continues to oppose the levy.
The HKJC continues to oppose the levy.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club will have to pay HK$12bn over five years.

Hong Kong.- The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has announced that it will pay an additional Special Football Betting Duty of HK$2.4bn per year for the next five years. The measure, which the club had opposed, had made it to this year’s budget and will amount to an additional HK$12bn in betting duty over five years.

The HKJC had opposed the proposal, arguing that its tax rate was “already the highest in the world.” It warned that the move would “damage [its] integrated business model and competitiveness irreversibly, while benefiting only illegal and offshore betting operators.” 

However, Hong Kong’s financial secretary Paul Chan said the extra funds were needed to improve the government’s fiscal situation amid a predicted deficit of HK$54.4bn. He said the government had “given due consideration to the intense external competition facing by the local betting business,” and that HKJC had “undertaken that the proposal would not reduce its commitment to local charities”.

The HKJC suggested that the government should review and reduce the betting duty rates, particularly on horse racing, which stands at 72.5 per cent to 75 per cent. It also called on the government to provide more support to bring in more simulcast and world-pool opportunities, and ” to commence a review on the licensing conditions imposed on football betting, with a view to giving the Club the much-needed flexibility and competitiveness.”

See also: NPP defends proposal to raise football betting duty

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GAMBLING REGULATION Hong Kong Jockey Club sports betting