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Hong Kong residents spend HKD 23 bln in local casinos

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A study by the Hong Kong Jockey Club has estimated that Hong Kong people had gambled up to HKD 23 billion in Macau in 2010, making them the second largest pool of the city’s casino patrons after the mainland Chinese.
According to the club’s chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, it was estimated that people from Hong Kong bet around HKD 9 to HKD 10 billion in Macau in 2005, but the amount surged to HKD 20 billion three years later, Hong Kong media reported.
In 2009, Hong Kong residents spent HKD 22 billion in Macau, for the first time having exceeded the gross revenue of HKD 21.8 billion received by the club that takes bets on horse racing, football and lotteries (‘Mark Six’).
The amount was estimated to increase to HKD 23 billion last year.
Engelbrecht-Bresges said Macau’s booming gaming industry together with the “active junket business” in both SARs have made for some “furious competition” at the club.
The chief executive also said he expected sports betting in Macau to develop rapidly in the year ahead and urged the Hong Kong Government to consider whether or not similar services would need to be launched in the city.
Aside from football betting, Macauslot also receives bets on basketball.
In addition, Engelbrecht-Bresges said he hoped the Hong Kong Government would consider lowering gaming tax rates to help enhance the overall competitiveness of the club.
While the club pays a 50 to 75 percent tax on football betting and horse racing, Macau’s six gaming operators pay 35 percent of their gross receipts as direct tax.
The study was based on exit interviews at Macau’s 33 casinos, casino annual reports and investment bank reports on casinos. The chief executive said all three sources arrived at “similar figures”.

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