The Hong Kong Jockey Club has posted a record turnover of HK$216.5 billion in the past financial year. The overall turnover for its 2016 to 2017 financial year, which ended on June 30, was up 6.8 per cent on the previous year. Thanks to this record-breaker, the city’s sole betting operator paid the government HK$21.7 billion in duty and profits tax, hitting an all-time high. The turnover contributed by bets on horse racing was HK$115.8 billion, a 7.9 per cent jump from the previous year. Hong Kong Jockey Club records record turnover despite economic gloom The turnover from football betting was up by 6.8 per cent to HK$92.7 billion. The bets on the Mark Six saw a slight dip of 6.2 per cent to HK$8.0 billion from the previous year, when the club celebrated the lottery’s 40th anniversary and collected HK$8.6 billion in bets. The club said the performance in horse racing turnover was the result of a long-term strategy to position Hong Kong as a centre of world-class racing, which last season saw all 11 of the club’s eligible international group one races feature in the 2016 World’s Top 100 Group One Races. The club contributed HK$1.2 billion to the Lotteries Fund, which is managed by the Social Welfare Department to finance the capital expenditure of welfare projects and provide one-off grants to experimental projects, with the proceeds from the Mark Six lottery as the main source of income. The club paid the fund HK$1.28 billion the previous year. The club also made a record in its charity donations amounting to HK$4.1 billion, with a special donation of HK$3.5 billion for the construction of the Hong Kong Palace Museum in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong’s handover to the mainland. Adding up the duties and tax to the government, the contribution to the Lotteries Fund and charity donations, the club returned HK$30.5 billion to the city, 16.9 per cent more than the precious year. At its annual general meeting on Thursday, its new board of stewards re-elected Simon Ip Sik-on as chairman and Anthony Chow Wing-kin as deputy chairman for the coming year. The club also announced its new HK$3 billion 150-hectare Conghua Training Centre in Guangdong will open in the third quarter of next year. Founded in 1884, the Jockey Club is the sole licence holder for the operation and management of horse race betting, football betting, and the Mark Six lottery in Hong Kong. It operates as a not-for-profit organisation and allocates its surplus revenue to charitable and community projects.