Asian Racing Federation jurisdiction Hong Kong Jockey Club in conjunction with UK’s Ascot Racecourse have announced a major cooperative venture with positive implications for both Asian Racing Federation countries and the industry world-wide.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club, in partnership with Ascot and UK poll operator Totepool, will launch a new Ascot World Pool for the June meeting of Royal Ascot in 2019.
The newly-established, pari-mutuel-based Ascot World Pool will offer a strong value proposition to all customers in both the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and forthcoming potential partners elsewhere in the Asian Racing Federation region on the Royal Ascot meeting.
It also further positions Hong Kong as the international hub of co-mingling.
Under the agreement, pari-mutuel wagers placed either on track through AscotBet or off-course with Totepool will be co-mingled with Hong Kong’s pools on the Royal Ascot meeting. This will ensure maximum liquidity and stronger opportunities for customers across the globe on Royal Ascot meeting.
As part of the agreement, Hong Kong will simulcast all five days of Royal Ascot for the first time next year, subject to approval of its racing fixtures.
The Ascot World Pool is expected to see UK liquidity increase from the current approximate £20 million to in the region of £75m.
This year has seen three days of Royal Ascot offered to Hong Kong customers, with an average of HK$26.4m (£2.52m) per race being wagered during the first three days of the meeting. The pool is expected to grow further with the World Pool concept next year.
Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are honoured to provide a global tote offering for one of the world’s leading racing festival brands, Royal Ascot.
“This agreement solidifies Hong Kong’s position as the global hub of co-mingling. Our wagering operation is world-class and is recognised as a leader in integrity and management processes.
“We believe this is the beginning of a new era in international racing. We are already in active discussions with other racing bodies about future World Pool initiatives.”
Mr. Richard Cheung, the Club’s Executive Director, Customer and International Business Development, said: “The creation of the World Pool is another step forward for the Club’s co-mingling strategy. We now offer global co-mingling opportunities not only for 88 Hong Kong meetings, but also Royal Ascot races.
“Over time we will invite other racing jurisdictions who are co-mingling with us on HK races and are also interested in joining the World Pool on Royal Ascot races”
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at Ascot, welcomed the announcement: “The foundation stone of successful pool betting is liquidity. AscotBet is delighted and honoured to be collaborating with Totepool and the Hong Kong Jockey Club to co-mingle bets on all Royal Ascot’s races into HKJC’s new World Pool.
“Our partner Totepool’s co-mingling arrangement with HKJC on racing in Hong Kong through its Tote Direct business has been a huge success, bringing over £1 billion of liquidity into the Hong Kong pool in just 18 months. We are excited about the opportunities provided by World Pool.”
Next year’s Royal Ascot meeting is scheduled to start on 18 June, 2019.