Macau Jockey Club to End Horse Racing Operations

Posted on: January 19, 2024, 10:30h. 

Last updated on: January 19, 2024, 10:30h.

The Macau government has officially terminated the contract with the Macau Jockey Club, signaling the end of horse racing in the South-Asian gambling hub.sports betting

Macau horse racing, Macau jockey club, Taipa Racecourse
Macau’s Taipa Racecourse, pictured, will be returned to the government and repurposed once racing ceases for good at the end of March this year. (Image: Sky Racing World)

Secretary for Administration and Justice Cheong Weng Chon stated that the termination was by mutual consent and would be effective from April 1. The Macau Horse Racing Company, which runs MJC, had requested to be released from the contract due to financial hardships experienced during the pandemic.sports betting

Cheong cited the “impossibility of aligning horse racing activities with the current developmental needs of society.”

Land currently occupied by the club, including the Taipa Racecourse, will be returned to the government. It has been confirmed that there are no plans to offer tenders for racing in the future.sports betting

Financial Trouble

The Macau Jockey Club suffered a significant setback as the pandemic led to accumulated losses of US$261 million in 2022. The weak financial position of the club resulted in the reduction of races from 15 per day to just five.sports betting

Despite the decline in popularity of horse racing in the gambling hub, MJC remains one of Macau’s major private employers. Around 800 full-time workers and 300 part-timers will receive severance pay in accordance with the law.sports betting

Meanwhile, MJC has agreed to relocate its horses to other locations by March 31 next year.sports betting

The jockey club signed a 24-year contract with the government in 2018, but failed to fulfill its promise to invest millions into improving infrastructure and expanding its offerings.sports betting

The government will conduct research on possible uses for the facilities following the termination of the contract.sports betting

44-Year Monopoly

MJC has held the exclusive rights to offer horse racing and horse betting in Macau since its formation in 1980. Initially founded as the Macau Trotting Club to promote harness racing in Asia, the club transitioned to thoroughbred racing after the former failed to gain traction.sports betting

In 1991, the club was acquired by the Macau Horse Racing Company, a consortium led by late gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, who previously held the casino monopoly in Macau.sports betting

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