The long-awaited start of commingling of bets with overseas racing jurisdictions will have to wait a little longer, after the Jockey Club confirmed the process will not be finalised for tomorrow's opening day at Sha Tin, reports the HK Racing Post.

After more than six years of Jockey Club lobbying, the Legislative Council passed the required legislation in early July to allow bets placed on Hong Kong races in other countries to be directed into the pools here, and vice versa.

The Jockey Club estimates that approximately HK$3 billion annually is wagered overseas on Hong Kong races, but those bets have been held in small localised pools until now. Under commingling, those bets will ultimately be accepted by foreign operators but then funnelled into the "home" pools here.

However, the club has found that the two months available was an insufficient period to finish negotiations with its commingling partners and to have the necessary computer interface worked out.

Officials flagged delays last week but executive director of racing Bill Nader said yesterday the race against time to have commingling for the first races of the new season had been lost.

"It's a no go. In the end, there are too many moving parts to it and we were probably too ambitious thinking we could be ready for the season opening," Nader said. "Commingling with the US will start some time in September, but it's a case of when. We could start with Australia before the end of this month or early October and New Zealand will start at the same time, as commingled bets from there piggy back on the Victorian TAB. I'm thinking by mid-October we should be up and running with both Australia and the US."

But the latest news is not as good on two other willing commingling partners which had been expected to be in train this term.

"Singapore now looks like a complete no go for this season and Macau is possibly in the same boat. It isn't impossible Macau might come on later in this season but it looks like it couldn't be until the second quarter of 2014," Nader said.