The Hong Kong Jockey Club: Repositioning a Not-for-Profit Powerhouse
The Hong Kong Jockey Club had grown from simple origins into an enormous gaming operator, with a statutory monopoly on horse racing, football betting and lotteries. At the same time, the Club served as Hong Kong's largest charity and community benefactor. It was also Hong Kong's largest single taxpayer, the operator of a prestigious membership Club and had undertaken some of the most sophisticated implementations of information technology in Asia. Under the leadership of Lawrence Wong, the Jockey Club's first ethnic-Chinese executive, the club had set about installing management discipline in the organization and raising betting revenues. He had also overseen the launch of football betting in 2003. By 2005 the emergence of local illegal and unauthorized offshore gambling operators, typically Internet-based and which paid no taxes, operated with little overhead, few regulatory restraints, and could thus offer bigger payout and more betting options posed a significant threat to the club's revenues. Wong would have to lead the club's efforts to defend gaming revenues against a host of threats and competitive forces.