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Understanding customers is key to Hong Kong's racing success

Understanding customers is key to Hong Kong's racing The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has celebrated its 130th anniversary with a record-breaking year for wagering turnover and the club’s understanding of its customer is the key to its success. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive of the HKJC, believes that things could not have been scripted better. “When you look at the racing turnover, it’s close to HK$108 billion (HK$107.9 billion, up 5.8 per cent) which is almost $19b Australian,” said Engelbrecht-Bresges in an exclusive interview on Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN.
 
“We have 83 race meetings and if you look at our attendance, it is an average per race meeting of 25,000.
 
“This gives us 2,000,000 racegoers (per year) which is a fantastic result.
 
“If you look at the sporting quality of our racing, we have only 800 races per year but we have four races in the top 25 races in the world which I think is a wonderful achievement.
 
“We also have some of the best horses in the world in Hong Kong; this year we had 24 horses in the top international ratings headed by Able Friend.
 
“But we are not only a racing club, we also have football betting which also had a record year where we had HK$78b (A$13.6b) wagered on football.
 
“We are also the biggest tax payer in Hong Kong where we will pay HK$20b in tax, which is probably eight per cent of the tax income in Hong Kong.
 
“Our charity donation this year will reach HK$3.8b, which makes us one of the top 10 charity organisations in the world.
 
“Everything from the racing side to the other business side, we are very happy about and proud of.”
 
When determining the achievements of the HKJC, Engelbrecht-Bresges takes a broader view than just one year, looking more in five-year cycles. A reason behind this is that there will always be fluctuations.
 

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