HKJC orders Betfair to cease Hong Kong racing operations

4 September 2019

Hong Kong Jockey Club has told Betfair Australia to “immediately cease and desist” offering betting exchange wagering on its races in an escalation of the fall-out between the two parties.

The organisation has written to Flutter Entertainment’s Australia subsidiary and Australian regulators after the operator began offering wagering on Hong Kong events at the start of this month

HKJC said Betfair is acting without a licence or its permission, adding it has “zero-tolerance” towards issues relating to integrity and intellectual property rights.

HKJC, which runs nearly 700 horse races per year and has a legal monopoly over betting on horse racing in the Chinese region, said: “The club takes this matter seriously as it represents a serious integrity issue and an equally serious infringement of its intellectual property rights. In addition, creating the opportunity for people to back horses to lose is against what we all believe in.”

The body has written to the Australian government, Northern Territory Racing Commission - which licenses Betfair - the Australian Communications and Media Authority which administers the Interactive Gambling Act, and the country's national racing authority, Racing Australia.

“The club has also sent formal letters to Betfair and its parent company, Crown Resorts, demanding them to immediately cease and desist from offering wagering via its betting exchange platform (including in-play betting) on Hong Kong racing, and any related promotion or advertising for the purpose,” HKJC added.

Betfair commenced offering wagering on Hong Kong, with the Sha Tin race meeting on 1 September.

Announcing its entry into Hong Kong, Betfair Australia chief executive Tim Moore-Barton last month said: “Our punters have been asking for Hong Kong racing for several years and we have been working on it for just as long.

“Today I’m really excited to allow punters to legally bet against each other on some of the best horse racing in the world.”