World Pool is an exciting version of international commingling, combining the finest racing from around the globe with the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s betting operation, which boasts the deepest and most liquid pari-mutuel pools on the planet.
The first World Pool event took place at Royal Ascot in 2019. Since the launch it has expanded to meetings including the Dubai World Cup at Meydan, the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the English Derby at Epsom in the United Kingdom, Gold Cup day at Greyville in South Africa and Irish Champions Day at Leopardstown in Ireland.
Since 1989, the Club started importing top-class overseas races for local customers. These separate pools operated solely within Hong Kong but attracted significant turnover, almost always eclipsing the liquidity in the pools of the primary partner in the event’s home country. Under its existing license, the Club is allowed to simulcast 37 race meetings per season in addition to another 10 individual races which are programmed as part of a local race meeting.
The second was in 2013 when the Club commenced commingling on its local racing, allowing customers of international partners to wager into their tote pools. Over the past seven seasons, commingling has grown steadily and now represents approximately 17% of the total turnover on Hong Kong racing.
So, the obvious question was; why not combine these two very successful initiatives?
In partnership with the rights holder, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, as host, commingling partners were invited to join its separate pools on simulcast content. The impact was immediate. Turnover on all five days at Royal Ascot in 2019 was 75% higher than the previous year.
Commingling partners who have participated in World Pool hail from six continents and include Tabcorp in Australia, Singapore Pools, UK Tote, PMU in France, an array of ADWs in North America and Phumelela in South Africa.
In the current season 2021/22, 20 of the 37 simulcast meetings will be World Pool events and that is expected to grow in the future.
The number of World Pool bet types (those hosted by the Club) is also expected to increase. The current bets being offered are Win, Place, Quinella, Quinella Place and Tierce, but others are being added to the mix.
International home tote operators will continue to offer and host all other products, which are not included in the World Pool suite, for their local customers, but the liquidity will be significantly smaller than World Pool bet types.
Including the promotion of international racing events, enhancing customer experience through deep pari-mutuel liquidity and promoting cooperation between international tote partners. But above all else, the income which flows back to the respective rights holders is vital for the sustainability of the racing industry.