Due to increasingly violent pro-democracy protests in China’s special administrative region, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has canceled a second race meeting.
The HKJC announced on Wednesday that the race meeting scheduled for November 13 at the Happy Valley Racecourse “was cancelled to ensure the safety of its staff and racegoers.” The HKJC also confirmed that “all club activities” would be suspended on Wednesday at 2 pm.
The HKJC said it “closely” monitored the ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong and its impact on public transportation, leading the HKJC to conclude that the situation did not “help” employees and customers to “arrive smoothly and safely away from the course.”
This is the second meeting of the Happy Valley race that the HKJC was forced to cancel in its current season that started on September 1. The HKJC canceled the day’s activity on September 18 because of fears that protesters would target the track due to one of the involved horses belonging to a controversial pro-Beijing legislator.
The social unrest, which this week saw both sides of the conflict taking more violent actions, also culminated in the HKJC shutting all off-course betting branches on Tuesday at 5 pm, while the Mark Six lottery draw on Tuesday was postponed to Thursday.
With all bets to be refunded on Wednesday’s race, the cancelation is expected to cost Hong Kong’s government about HK$130 m (US$ 166k) in lost revenue as there is no space on the HKJC calendar to reschedule the canceled events. There are increasing concerns that the HKJC might be forced to cancel its Hong Kong International Races, the HKJC season’s marquee event scheduled for December 8.