Início » Horse racing in Macau ends after 40 years due to financial difficulties

Horse racing in Macau ends after 40 years due to financial difficulties

After more than 40 years, Macau will no longer have horse racing from April 1st, the territory's government announced today, which terminated the contract at the concessionaire's request due to “exploitation difficulties”.

The termination of the contract with Companhia de Corridas de Cavalos de Macau, S.A. was revealed in an executive order from the head of Government, Ho Iat Seng, published today in the region’s Official Bulletin, but dated January 9th.

At a press conference, Executive Council spokesperson André Cheong Weng Chon said that the concession, which had been extended for another 24 years at the end of 2018, will end on April 1.

The director revealed that the company, known as Macau Jockey Club (MJC), requested the termination of the contract in 2023 due to “exploitation difficulties”, a request accepted by the Government “after an in-depth study”.

Since 2002, the company had been making losses and “was unable to find a solution for the operation”, especially during the three years of the covid-19 pandemic, when “the stakes dropped a lot”, highlighted André Cheong.

According to official data, in the first nine months of 2023, bets on horse racing reached 32 million patacas. In 2019, before the start of the pandemic, bets stood at 98 million patacas.

The MJC had a monopoly on horse racing until August 2042, after committing in 2018 to making investments of up to 3.4 billion patacas.
Macau jockey club corridas cavalos wiliam lai taiwan eleições

The company had announced plans to move forward, by 2026, with a tourism project that included at least two hotels, green areas, sports areas, restaurants, shops, a museum and a riding school on the island of Taipa.

Even so, Cheong admitted that the MJC will not pay any compensation to the Government, since “an amicable termination” was achieved, but stressed that the company is committed to respecting “the labor rights and interests” of workers.

The MJC’s vice-president of the board of directors and executive administrator is Angela Leong, widow of tycoon Stanley Ho and also director of Sociedade de Jogo de Macau, one of the six operators authorized to operate casinos in the territory.

The company “committed to paying compensation to laid-off workers”, assured the director of Labor Affairs Services. Wong Chi Hong revealed that the MJC currently has 254 local workers and 316 without resident status.

Despite horse racing “having a history of more than 40 years”, in Macau, André Cheong said that the Government will not hold a new public competition and added that “other territories in the region” have already shown a desire to end this activity. .

The MJC will have until March 31, 2025 to “properly transfer” the horses out of Macau, Cheong said. A representative from the Institute of Municipal Affairs said that authorities in mainland China have shown interest in taking in the nearly 290 horses.

As for the land, which originally had more than 404 thousand square meters, it will “revert free of charge” to the Government, said André Cheong, who promised to carry out studies for its future use. The spokesperson assured, however, that the area will not be used to build more casinos.

At the time of the contract extension, at the end of 2018, the MJC owed the Government 150 million patacas in taxes. The director of Gaming Inspection and Coordination, Adriano Marques Ho, guaranteed that “the outstanding taxes have already been returned”.

*With Lusa

Contact Us

Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

Plataforma Studio


Subscribe Plataforma Newsletter to keep up with everything!