The Hong Kong SAR Government’s policy is to restrict gambling to a limited number of controlled authorised outlets, while clamping down on illegal gambling operations which are widely associated with social problems such as fraud, underage gambling, loan-sharking, triad and criminal activities.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the sole operator authorised by the Government to provide horse racing and football betting services, as well as administering the Mark Six lottery on behalf of the Government.
The Club proactively advocates responsible gambling practices and work with the Government to combat illegal gambling. While meeting the public demand for gambling, the Club aims to channel betting money back to support community development and charitable endeavours. In so doing, it also helps the Government in combating illegal gambling, thus minimising possible harm to the individual and the community in general.
With its unique not-for-profit business model, proceeds of the Club are ploughed back to the community through charitable donations and betting duties and taxes, underpinning its mission of giving back to society. It is worth noting that the Club is, next to the Government, Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor as well as largest single taxpayer. The Club is also one of the city’s largest employers.
The Club’s horse racing, football betting and Mark Six lottery operations rigorously abide by the stringent regulatory regime governed by the Gambling Ordinance and the licensing conditions set out by the Government. Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Bureau formulates gambling policy with advice from the independent and widely-represented Betting and Lotteries Commission.
In addition to implementing a holistic set of proven measures to encourage customers to gamble responsibly, the Club also maintains strict regulation and the highest level of integrity across all aspects of its horse racing and betting operations:
Throughout the years, the Club has limited its betting services to horse racing, Mark Six lottery and football. The number of Mark Six draws, as well as the number of racedays and football matches on which betting is offered is limited.
The Club only provides cash betting and account-based betting. No credit facilities or credit card betting is allowed. This ensures that customers cannot accumulate debts with the Club because of betting losses.
The Club stipulates that gambling is restricted to those aged 18 or above and adamantly upholds this principle by: stringent access control at all Off-Course Betting Branches (OCBBs) and racecourses; betting account registration must be done in person with proof of age and multiple verification requirements are set in place for subsequent account access; prominent display of warning messages about underage gambling and excessive gambling at all OCBBs, the Club's betting websites and betting-related marketing materials. The Club also will not sell betting tickets or pay dividend on winning tickets for those who are underaged.
The Club embeds responsible gambling as a core corporate culture. Through various means including continuous training, employee communications and intranet, the Club helps employees internalise the importance of upholding its Responsible Gambling Policy. All front-line betting staff are also required to undertake training to ensure effective access controls and appropriate customer interaction (in particular, on how to respond to questions about problem gambling and problem gambling services).
Treatment and counselling service hotline information is included in all of the Club’s responsible gambling warning messages, information leaflets and betting websites. The Club has also been making continuous contributions to Ping Wo Fund, working together with the Government and social service organisations to provide counselling, treatment and support to problem gamblers and those affected by them.