Hong Kong Jockey Club – Charities and Community
Hong Kong Jockey Club – Charities and Community
Although Lucky 8 Racing is primarily a tipping service it would be irresponsible not to highlight the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s (HKJC) charities and community role and its significance to Hong Kong society.
The Club can trace its long tradition of donating to charitable causes back to at least 1915, but it was in the 1950s, as Hong Kong struggled to cope with post-war reconstruction and a massive influx of immigrants, that this role became integral to its operation. In 1955, the Club formally decided to devote its surplus each year to charity and community projects, and in 1959, a separate company, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Ltd, was formed to administer donations. In 1993, a new entity was established, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, to reflect the evolving nature, scale and scope of donations. The Club's Charities Trust is one of the world's top ten charity donors.
The Trust's substantial donations to the community are made possible by the Club's unique operational model which integrates racing, wagering, membership and philanthropy. The Club uses its surpluses generated by regulated betting to benefit Hong Kong people from all walks of life. Some 70% of the Club's net annual surpluses are donated to the Trust, enabling the Club to have played a significant role in the community's development over the years.
Working with Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community partners, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of life of the people of Hong Kong, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. As a philanthropic organisation in its own right, the Trust also proactively identifies and initiates projects that anticipate future community and social needs.
The Trust serves 10 principal areas of civic and social needs in its contributions:
While the Trust continues to fund a wide range of projects, it is placing special emphasis on four areas of strategic focus over the next three to five years:
- Empowering youth for a hopeful future
- Building an age-friendly Hong Kong
- Promoting active participation and sportsmanship. Making sports fun and accessible to all
- Building a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, enriching lives and promoting social inclusion
The success of the Club’s business strategies has enabled it to provide ever higher levels of support for the community. In 2018/19, the Club contributed a record HK$23.3 billion in tax, equivalent to 6.8% of the total taxes collected by the Inland Revenue Department, while its Charities Trust approved HK$4.3 billion in donations to a record 294 projects. The Club now ranks among the world’s top ten charity donors.
These additional resources have enabled the Club to maintain its support across a broad range of community need, while also focusing on four strategic areas: youth; the elderly; sports; and arts, culture, and heritage. Through Trust-initiated projects, 13 of which are currently in progress, the Club is working with partner agencies to proactively address community needs, in some cases through piloting new and innovative approaches. It is also focusing on capacity building to help NGOs build their capabilities and access expertise and knowledge.
One of the Club’s largest projects, Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts, celebrated its first anniversary in May. Hailed internationally and in Hong Kong as a model of heritage conservation, Tai Kwun received over 3.4 million visits in its first year of operation. Visitors were able to enjoy over 750 programmes and events and 800 heritage docent tours. The Club looks forward to the further development of Tai Kwun as one of Hong Kong’s most popular arts and heritage destinations.
The second Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum, held in September 2018, was a major opportunity for Hong Kong and international NGOs to share knowledge and expertise. Initiated by the Club in 2016, the forum brings together thought leaders from around the world with the aim of encouraging fresh thinking and forging new connections across the NGO community. This second edition attracted over 1,400 delegates and 67 distinguished speakers including two Nobel Laureates. Planning is already underway for the next forum in 2020.
Undoubtedly the Hong Kong Jockey Club is the world leader for horse racing but also plays a pivotal role in many other aspects of Hong Kong society. Their charity and community endeavours are something to be admired by all sporting and corporate institutions worldwide. Lucky 8 Racing acknowledges and respects the HKJC for its significant philanthropy in Hong Kong.
NB: Parts of this article have been reproduced courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.