The Hong Kong Jockey Club has ended its Happy Valley season with a record turnover of HK$1.6 billion (£160 million) for the track after what it described as a ‘season like no other.’
Despite the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, total 2019/20 season turnover had fallen by only 2.6 percent compared to the previous season, with mixed turnover up 25.3 percent compared to 2018/19 results.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive commented: “While we recognise that the Coronavirus situation is an ongoing battle, and we must remain vigilant, I can say that it has been heartening to see the Hong Kong community pull together and play a crucial part in combating its effects; the Hong Kong Jockey Club has been quick to reflect and enact those safeguarding measures and policies while continuing to race.
“We are pleased to have been able to complete a full season but of course our prime focus throughout, and a real challenge, was to act responsibly to protect the public health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider community, at every turn, while at the same time balancing that with the desire for our sport to continue.”
Last week HKJC announced it had closed seven of its off-course betting branches (OCBBs) after a increase in the region’s coronavirus cases.
Because of Hong Kong’s ‘worsening COVID-19 situation,’ the Jockey Club stressed that the situation would be closely monitored to decide whether more OCBBs would be needed to temporarily close.