03/31/2014 12:21PM

TVG agreement allows betting into commingled pools on Hong Kong races

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
The average Hong Kong race draws $17 million in bets, almost $3 million more than the handle on the average race card at Saratoga Race Course last year.

Television Games Network has reached an agreement that will allow its customers to bet into commingled pools on races in Hong Kong beginning this weekend, the company announced Monday.

The deal is believed to be the first allowing North American bettors to wager into Hong Kong pools, which are the largest in the world. The average Hong Kong race draws $17 million in bets, almost $3 million more than the handle on the average race card at Saratoga Race Course last year. The average field size in Hong Kong is 12.6 horses per race, 4.5 horses higher than the average field size in North America.

Bettors will be able to wager into win, place, quinella, and trifecta pools, TVG said. As in most foreign jurisdictions, the place pool is actually a show pool. The trifecta in Hong Kong is referred to as the “tierce.”

Hong Kong’s two racetracks run Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons. With the time difference, that means the Wednesday card starts at 7:15 a.m. Eastern for North American bettors, while the Sunday card starts at 1 a.m. Eastern.

Past-performance information on horses is available for free on the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s website. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a government-administered agency that runs every aspect of racing and training in the Chinese territory.