Hong Kong to Push for Co-Mingled Pools

The Hong Kong Jockey Club hopes to offer co-mingled int'l pools within 12 months.

The Honk Kong Jockey Club is determined to offer co-mingled wagering pools over the next 12 months, according to a report from ThoroughbredNews.com.au.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the HKJC’s chief executive officer, told the online news service that he is so determined to co-mingle pools in Australia, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom that he is considering going off-shore to make it happen.

“We had a meeting again with our government and we pressed again the need for co-mingling, which I think is in the interest of not only Hong Kong, it is in the interest of world racing,” said Engelbrecht-Bresges.

He added that in a comparison of separate pari-mutuel wagering pools for international events, 70% of the handle on the l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) came from Hong Kong as did 65% of the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) handle.

“I hope that our government will within the next year be supportive,” said Engelbrecht-Bresges. “We have had detailed discussions, but we are very clear that if we cannot get a result in the next year we will think about an off-shore co-mingling hub outside of Hong Kong to start the development, with a chance that there may be a stage where the government goes through certain processes and we can bring the money on-shore again.

“But we are very determined that we have talked about it for a long period of time, and I think it is now time to act from government. If not we have to take other actions to secure a position which we are losing if we are not careful,” Engelbrecht-Bresges continued.