Online betting would not increase the Jockey Club's income next season because of high tax rates, club chief executive Lawrence Wong Chi-kwong said yesterday. He said the club's turnover would also be hit by illegal gambling activities. The Jockey Club will accept betting on the Internet when the season starts in September. Mr Wong said the club would be on high alert over Web site security. 'It won't be an obvious increase [in turnover] because of the betting tax. We also have to compete with the illegal betting rackets. They don't have to pay tax and they don't have to give money to charity,' he said. 'We don't expect a significant increase unless there is an adjustment in the tax rate.' The current season finished on Sunday. Total turnover was $83.4 billion, a slight increase on last season's $81.33 billion. Average attendance at the Happy Valley and Sha Tin racecourses dropped to 36,109 from 38,532. A few days before the season ended, the Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested 17 people in connection with a multimillion-dollar betting racket. All are on bail and no charges have been laid. Mr Wong said he was aware of illegal soccer betting activities in Hong Kong. 'Illegal soccer betting is prevalent recently, but we will not fight for the initiation of legal soccer betting.'