July 20, 2020

Off-course betting shops in Hong Kong ordered to close again

Off-course betting shops in Hong Kong ordered to close again

Hong Kong—The country’s off-course betting shops were instructed to close again from July 18 until August due to the increasing numbers of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in region.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) explained that its 100-off course betting branches (OCBB) will be closed starting July 19 up until early August.

The kiosks remained open on July 17 and 18 to provide services which included betting account deposits or withdrawals, and also cashing in vouchers or winning tickets. Football betting services were not made available.

According to the HKJC, the decisions have been made “in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong, after balancing public health risks, the safety of staff and customer needs.”

The announcement was made two days after the Hong Kong racing season ended, with Wednesday’s finale at Happy Valley making a record revenue of HK $1.6 billion ($206.4 million) for a single event. The 2020-21 racing season will not start again until September 5.

The OCBBs were closed from February this year until June 22, when the majority re-opened on non-racedays. Customers have been able to place bets on horse racing at shops since then. In addition, they were also able to cash-in vouchers or winning tickets, deposit into or withdraw funds from their betting accounts, open or reactivate accounts, and even set up fund transfers.

Most shops, however, were not allowed to process any bets on football.

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