The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) announced it has closed seven of its off-course betting branches (OCBBs) following a increase in cases involving coronavirus.
In raising concerns about the ‘worsening situation of COVID-19 in Hong Kong,’ the HKJC emphasised that it is tracking the situation to decide if more OCBBs would have to be closed temporarily.
OCBB facilities remaining available will be limited to ‘cashing-in of vouchers or winning tickets, betting accounts deposits and withdrawal (13 July), with the addition of selling racing tickets (14 July) and football (from 16 July onwards).’
In addition to limited facilities, the HKJC emphasised that strict public health interventions should be in place, including social distance, crowd management, body temperature monitoring, and mask wear.
As well as closing several OCBBs, the Club’s Mark Six lottery game has also been discontinued due to public health issues.
The Statement read: “We fully understand that our customers are looking forward to the resumption of the Mark Six draws which has been suspended since 1 February this year. It was also our original plan to resume the draw on 21 July.
“However, the latest worrying development of the COVID-19 situation does not facilitate us to resume Mark Six draws as scheduled. This is because there used to be 400,000 to 500,000 customers visiting our OCBBs to purchase Mark Six tickets for every draw, in contrast to approximately 130,000 customers for each racing pre-sale.
“This heavy traffic will pose a serious public health concern to our OCBBs under the current worsening COVID-19 situation. We would like to ask for the understanding of our customers that we have decided to postpone the resumption of Mark Six draws until further notice.”