Comments from the HKJC chairman:
Sports betting will overtake global racing turnover this year and that only a "customercentric" approach can maintain racing's relevance, Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has warned.Relating to an issue North America has to come to grips with, with all-too-short fields:
"It seems a worldwide trend that in jurisdictions which are breeder-driven, and not as focused on the wants of the customer, that field sizes are a significant issue," he said. "For racing, pari-mutuel is the more attractive proposition but you have to ensure field size, which creates value for wagering potentialAs most know, Hong Kong has been very customer-centric, but was not always as much so.
In 2006, amid falling handles, a program giving cash back on lost bets to encourage demand had begun.
HKJC CEO reminds...HKJC saw wagering decline of 26% from 2001-06. Launched rebate scheme then, up 11% 06-09, 13% in 10 then 41% last 4 yrs— Pat Cummings (@DubaiRaceNight) May 6, 2014
It's very different over here. Just last month, Churchill Downs Inc. increased takeout, not lowered it amid falling demand, and field sizes throughout the US do not seem to be a concern from a customer demand perspective.
Interesting point out of first session was that HKJC arrested overall decline in business turnover through introduction of betting rebate— Brent Zerafa (@brentzerafa) May 6, 2014