Online betting threatens Jockey Club dominance
|Racing at Shatin: Hong Kong loves a flutter
The internet age is challenging one of the great modern myths of Hong Kong - that betting is not permitted in the territory. Indeed, something of a crisis is occurring because of the explosive growth of betting on the internet by Hong Kong residents. The government coffers are suffering, one of the oldest and most powerful groups in the city complains that it is losing up to $7 billion a year in revenues and cries of foul can be heard as far away as the local legislative council.
Strictly speaking, Hong Kong law says that betting is illegal. But betting does not include the $11 billion a year that locals spend chasing the horse races twice weekly in the season at Happy Valley and Shatin. And of course there is the daily casino called the stock market - much more of a betting parlour with a wide range of punters than its equivalents in the west.