It’s been proven time and time again just how difficult, nigh impossible, it is for those who follow horse racing religiously overseas to understand certain misconceptions about this money game when it comes to Hong Kong-misconceptions like “racing fans” in the city- meaning the Chinese- being “racing mad gamblers”.
Perhaps once upon a time, they were, but the world and Hong Kong and horse racing have all changed.
Those racing fans from back in the day are now 30-40 years older, they’re retirees and far from being millionaires.
With not much of anything to sustain their interests, the average local punter might turn up, especially to the night racing at Happy Valley along with their trusty horse racing guides and fried chicken wings and bet around HK200-300 for the night.
It’s not exactly a “happy” Wednesday, no matter how many times someone onstage at the Beer Garden murders “Happy” by Pharrell Williams believing that this is what the CEO of the HKJC still wishes to hear.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club is hardly Tommy- the deaf, dumb and blind kid who played a mean pinball- but is it showing much in the way of long term smarts, because, well, their cash cow has been well and truly milked and are golden parachutes being hastily strapped on?
The HKJC is well aware that the dynamics of their business model have completely changed and it’s now all about patriotism and culture and a gambling driven product like horse racing needing to give more and more back to the community.