Jockey Club chairman Ronald Arculli said the club's proposal for reforming betting duty was still the most important item on the season's agenda. 'Racing's turnover-based betting duty of 13.5 per cent is one of the highest in the world and thus limits the payout we can offer customers,' he said. That meant they could not be price-competitive, as illegal operators made no such deduction. The club has been pushing for a tax reform that allows betting duty to be levied on profits instead of turnover. 'The proposed system ... taxes the gross margin rather than betting turnover. It levels the playing field and gives us the chance to tackle the illegal competition head on and hopefully claw back a significant amount of the illegal betting dollars for Hong Kong,' Mr Arculli said. 'Tax reform will give us a powerful array of measures to fight illegal operators who target the under-aged or encourage people to get into debt through offering credit betting and loan sharking.' In the 2004-05 season, the club's turnover rose to $97.19 billion.