HKJC closes OCBBs amid rising public health concerns

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has confirmed that it has closed seven of its off-course betting branches (OCBBs) following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Raising concerns over the ‘worsening COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong’, the HKJC emphasised that it is monitoring the situation to work out whether more OCBBs will be required to temporarily close.

Services at OCBBs which remain open will be restricted to ‘cashing-in of vouchers or winning tickets, betting accounts deposits and withdrawal (13 July), with the addition of selling racing tickets (14 July) and football (from 16 July onwards)’

In addition to limited services, the HKJC emphasised that there will be stringent public health measures in place, which will include social distancing, crowd-control, body temperature scanning and mask-wearing.

In addition to the closure of some OCBBs, the Club’s Mark Six lottery game has also been suspended following concerns over public health.

The statement read: “We fully understand that our customers are looking forward to the resumption of the Mark Six draws which has been suspended since 1 February this year. It was also our original plan to resume the draw on 21 July.

“However, the latest worrying development of the COVID-19 situation does not facilitate us to resume Mark Six draws as scheduled. This is because there used to be 400,000 to 500,000 customers visiting our OCBBs to purchase Mark Six tickets for every draw, in contrast to approximately 130,000 customers for each racing pre-sale.

“This heavy traffic will pose a serious public health concern to our OCBBs under the current worsening COVID-19 situation. We would like to ask for the understanding of our customers that we have decided to postpone the resumption of Mark Six draws until further notice.”

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