Macau horse racing faces uncertain future

The Macau Jockey Club posted a loss of US$261.4m for 2022.
The Macau Jockey Club posted a loss of US$261.4m for 2022.

Concerns mount after the discontinuation of the sport in Singapore.

Macau.- Concerns about the future of horseracing in Macau are growing following the announcement that the Singapore Turf Club will close by March 2027. Asian Racing Report quotes trainers noting that race frequency has fallen to once a week and that the horse population stands at just 220.

Sing Tao Daily reported last month that the Macau Jockey Club (MJC) had notified trainers about an incoming import prohibition expected to take effect this month. Meanwhile, the MJC has reportedly failed to fulfil pledges made during its 2018 concession licence extension, when it committed MOP1.5bn (US$190m) for facility upgrades and diversification.

In 2022, the MJC reported a loss of MOP2.1bn (US$261.4m), up from MOP1.9bn (US$240m). The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions was cited as a contributing factor. The club’s management expressed optimism amid the relaxation of entry regulations and increased visitor numbers in Macau. It said that it would take advantage of the opportunity to make the Macau Jockey Club a “must-visit tourism and entertainment landmark for both tourists and residents”.

The concession contract was originally awarded to the Macau Horsing Racing Company in 1978. The current lease has been extended until August 31, 2042 despite criticism from the Legislative Assembly’s Follow-up Committee for Land Affairs and Public Concessions.

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