No further tendering for club tracks

Macau to end 40-year horse racing legacy in April amid jockey club's financial struggles

Reading time 1:06 min

The government of Macau announced that there will be no more horse racing in the city after more than 40 years, revealing plans to terminate its contract with the city’s jockey club in April.

Macau, located on China’s south coast near Hong Kong, houses various gambling businesses that constitute a significant pillar of its economy. However, its jockey club, acquired by a consortium led by the late casino tycoon Stanley Ho in 1991, has encountered financial difficulties in recent years, The Associated Press reported.

Cheong Weng Chon, a Macau official, informed reporters that the Macau Horse Race Company had requested last year the termination of the contract with the government, citing operational challenges and the "impossibility of aligning horse racing activities with the current developmental needs of society."

“Considering that these activities have progressively lost their appeal to local residents and tourists in recent years, the government, after thorough research, decided to accept the application from the Macao Horse Race Company,” Chon was quoted as saying in the report.

Local media outlets, including public service broadcaster TDM, reported that the government had no plans for further public tendering for horse racing at the club’s tracks.

Under the termination arrangement set to take effect on April 1, the firm committed to arranging transportation of its horses to other locations by March 2025 and managing the company’s employees according to the law, as stated by the government, the report said.

In 2018, Macau’s government extended the concession with the company until 2042. However, the former Portuguese colony’s horse racing has grappled with financial difficulties, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the club’s accumulated losses reached US$261 million, as reported by Macau Business last June.

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