Hong Kong Race Wagering
In 1971 the club changed from an amateur to a professional organization. Off-course betting became legal in 1974, and in 1975 the HKJC started a telephone betting service. HKJC has a monopoly on all betting operations, which in addition to ontrack betting and phone betting also include simulcast and offtrack betting operations and online wagering. Currently there are two racecourses, both operated by the HKJC: Sha Tin and Happy Valley. The maximum penalty for betting with illegal bookmakers is a fine of HKD 30,000 and nine months' imprisonment.
In July 2006, the Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 2006 was approved by the Legislative Council in an effort to combat widespread illegal gambling on horse races while maintaining stable revenue from betting. The HKJC guaranteed the government that the total betting duty payable for the first three years of implementation would not be less than HKD 8 billion per year, excluding duty on overseas bets. The Club was given the flexibility to set take-out rates and give rebates on losing bets to better compete with illegal betting shops, which already offered such incentives to their customers.
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