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Significant interest from candidates to replace Jay as director of trading

19 December 2014

WHILE rumours, fuelled by a speculative national newspaper story and a sharp shortening of odds in Paddy Power’s ante-post book, circulate about Patrick Jay’s possible return to Ladbrokes as chief executive, the search for his successor as director of trading for the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s betting division continues.

Whoever takes over will be in charge of an operation that in 2013-14 had total turnover of HK$174 billion (£14.3bn), of which HK$103bn (£8.5bn) was generated by horseracing. Not unnaturally, there has been significant interest in filling Jay’s seat, including from Europe, HKJC chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges revealed, and he expects to start interviewing prospective candidates next month.

Jay, who was sports and football director for Ladbrokes before moving to Hong Kong five years ago, returned to Britain earlier this month, and received a glowing report from Engelbrecht-Bresges, who said: “Patrick did a fantastic job, and both the work and operating in a different cultural environment, which is not always easy, has helped him to grow in stature.”

He added: “I think this is one of the most interesting positions in the world in relation to sports betting, especially because it has a wider remit than Hong Kong in view of our co-operation with the China Sports Lottery”

One aspect if Jay’s expertise that his successor will not be required to emulate relates to regulation.

Engelbrecht-Bresges explained: “Our director of security and integrity Martin Purbrick worked very closely with Patrick, and they did a terrific job at looking at the illegal market around the world and understanding how it works, and how it has a significant impact on the integrity of sports”

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