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Hong Kong Licenses New Race Betting Regime

by Mary Swire, for LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

30 August 2006


Hong Kong's Home Affairs Bureau this week announced that it has issued a licence to Hong Kong Jockey Club Horse Race Betting Limited, which will take effect in September.

This is the first time the Government has rationalised the regulatory regime of horse race betting. The Jockey Club can conduct betting on approved horse races from September 1 this year to August 31 next year.

The licence includes a number of mandatory conditions to prevent underage and excessive gambling, minimising the negative impact of the activity on society, particularly adolescents.

It is subject to variation and imposition of new conditions by the Secretary for Home Affairs on the advice of the Betting & Lotteries Commission - the functions of which have been expanded to include advising the Government on the regulation of the conduct of horse races and the variation of the licensing conditions.

The Secretary for Home Affairs can also consult the commission and issue codes of practice as and when appropriate to prescribe detailed guidelines on particular aspects of the licensing conditions.

It also emerged that HKJC Horse Race Betting Limited will introduce a new rebate programme from the start of the 2006-07 racing season, to combat the discount offers made by illegal bookmakers and woo customers targeted by the illegal market.

The Home Affairs Bureau will closely monitor the initial impact of the rebate arrangements and, if necessary, introduce more guidelines in the code of practice.


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