Hong Kong, July 2 (DPA) Hong Kong gamblers sent out a positive note about the state of the city's economy by staking more than $155 million on the last racing day of the season, officials said on Thursday.
More than 63,000 people placed the bets on Wednesday's races at the city's Sha Tin race course, recording the second highest amount staked in a single day for the past year, according to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
The club is waiting for a government decision on whether it can stage five extra race days next year to try to bring in more revenue after seeing takings slip over the past year because of the global economic downturn.
Despite the success of Wednesday's race day, total betting turnover for the 78 race meetings held this season was down slightly by around $110 million to $8.6 billion,
Race organisers also want tax on betting reduced to combat internet gambling and to try to lure hard-up racing fans back to the courses.
Despite its image as a gambling-mad city, bets on horse racing are the only form of legal gambling in Hong Kong apart from limited soccer betting and a weekly, government-run lottery.