Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Hong Kong Jockey Club Statement on Two-way Commingling

The Hong Kong Jockey Club welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will propose amendments to the Betting Ordinance to facilitate the operation of two-way commingling on horse race betting.

A spokesperson for the Club said commingling had become an internationally-adopted industry practice that enabled regulated operators to work together to counter the threats posed by illegal bookmakers and junket operators. There was a need for Hong Kong to align with this international practice in order to protect the core turnover of Hong Kong from erosion and keep community resources in Hong Kong.

The establishment of commingled pools will provide unified and more stable odds between different racing jurisdictions, which will eliminate the opportunity for illegal bookmakers to make use of this difference to entice bettors and conduct arbitrage activities, as currently happen through having multiple separate pools.

Hong Kong horse racing is operated on a pari-mutuel model, i.e. the dividends are shared by the number of winning combinations of a particular pool and the winners share the net pool in proportion to their stake. The size of the betting pools will increase as a result of commingling, which will help create more stable odds but not necessarily imply an increase in the actual payout of individual pool. The spokesperson said the Club believes that commingling will not create additional betting incentives, adding that the existing number of simulcast races in a season would remain unchanged.
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