Monday, January 25, 2016

Hong Kong Jockey Club

In the heart of Happy Valley, Causeway Bay, is one of Hong Kong’s going concerns, the main racecourse. Twice throughout the week there is a meet here or alternatively at Sha Tin racecourse on the mainland i.e. in Hong Kong’s New Territories. Betting on the outcome of races appears to be a way of life for a major proportion of the population. Lots of visitors or expats like to take in the races too. That being as it may, what is striking is the number and variety of other institutions and enterprises in the city that are underwritten or sponsored by the Jockey Club. From youth hostels to medical clinics to soccer teams to god knows what else, the Hong Kong Jockey Club seems to have a hand in it. Its like Rotary, Lions, Elks, Chamber of Commerce all rolled into one. Wikipedia has this to say about it, which now I know. “Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a horse racing operator and Hong Kong's largest community benefactor, operating as a not-for-profit organisation.” It would appear to have contributed about two thirds of a billion Canadian dollars to the community in 2014 and is HKs largest source of taxes!