Macau Jockey Club holds final horse races

The Macau Jockey Club has ceased operations after more than 40 years of operation.
The Macau Jockey Club has ceased operations after more than 40 years of operation.

The MJC hosted its final races on Saturday.

Macau.- The Macau Jockey Club (MJC) ended its operations on April 1 after more than 40 years in operation. The last races were held on Saturday (March 30) before a turnout of approximately 3,000 spectators, including both residents and tourists from Hong Kong and mainland China. 

Initially formed as the Macau Trotting Club in 1980, the club tried to introduce harness racing in Asia. However, the sport wasn’t popular, so it was replaced by thoroughbred racing in 1989. At its peak, the MJC employed around 1,400 full-time employees and around 1,100 part-time. However, in recent years, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, it suffered a large drop in turnouts and betting.

In 2022, the MJC reported a loss of MOP2.1bn (US$261.4m), up from MOP1.9bn (US$240m). In January, the government announced the termination of the concession contract during the 2023-24 racing season. The secretary for administration and justice, Cheong Weng Chon, said the club had been facing financial difficulties for years, which had only been exacerbated by the three-year-long Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the club showed no signs of being able to operate effectively.

Macau Jockey Club rejects horse owners’ compensation demands

In March, the MJC rejected horse owners’s demands for compensation over the closure of its operations, stating that it was under financial pressure and couldn’t fulfil the requests. The MJC stated it was going to offer subsidies for the transportation of horses to mainland China or overseas, capped at HK$30,000 (US$3,800) and HK$200,000 (US$25,600) respectively.

The club also clarified that horses remaining on MJC grounds after the closure are going to be looked after, but owners will be charged a monthly fee of MOP8,000.

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The Macau Jockey Club