February 7, 2022 3 min read


Lunar New Year Brings Great Results to the Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) isn’t letting something like a pesky global pandemic get in its way of strong performances. With HK$1.86 billion ($238 million) worth of bets on the Lunar New Year race at Sha Tin, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has broken another record for turnover.

HKJC Strong Out of the Gate

Despite COVID-19 restrictions limiting access to the course, this year’s revenue grew 1%, or HK$20 million ($2.56 million) compared to 2021. However, there was an extra race this time. The Lunar New Year meeting was closed to the public for the third consecutive year. Only club officials, key staff, trainers, and jockeys were allowed into the venue.

COVID-19 has not dampened punters’ willingness to gamble. In September, The HKJC had the highest opening day turnover in its entire history, with total betting at HK$1.44 billion ($185 million). This is 4.3% more than the previous record that was set a year earlier.

The HKJC also reported record turnover in the 2020-21 season. This was up 27.9% year-on-year to HK$279.70 billion ($36 billion), which includes a 12.5% increase in racing turnover to HK$136.1 billion (US$17.5 billion).

Sunday Race Faced Uncertainty

Sunday’s Happy Valley meeting continued as planned despite the fact that a rider from the Chris So Wai-yin Yard tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday. It was the first time since the pandemic that an employee of the HKJC inside the “racing bubble” had given a positive test.

Officials learned of the result Friday night. The HKJC was also informed by the concerned employee that the member had been at a January 29 wedding. One of his friends also attended that function. A positive test was also done on the Jockey Club member.

The Jockey Club did its own contact tracking and found six contacts. All were tested late Friday night and came back negative.

Shutdown of Amenities No Problem

Almost a month ago, the HKJC temporarily closed The Millions members lounge at Happy Valley Racecourse. Staff were ordered to be tested by the club after three people who visited earlier in the month were found to have COVID-19.

According to the HKJC, a person was confirmed positive on January 9 and two others who returned preliminary positive results on the following day had been in the VIP lounge. A thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the facility were done following the small outbreak, according to the venue. COVID-19 testing for staff members had also been completed.

After other confirmed cases, the HKJC had already decreased attendance at its race meets. Only club officials, staff and licensed personnel were allowed to attend meetings through January 19.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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