Macau Says ‘Whoa’ to Horse Racing, Holds Final Races

Posted on: March 31, 2024, 12:56h. 

Final up to date on: March 31, 2024, 01:02h.

China’s playing hub of Macau held its final horse races on Saturday. Gamblers who solely half-filled the Taipa Racecourse stands positioned their last last bets as the top got here to a 40-year custom within the metropolis identified primarily for its casinos.

Jockeys compete within the last race of the ultimate day of racing in Macau, at Taipa Racecourse on the Macau Jockey Membership on March 30, 2024. (Picture: Related Press)

In January, the town’s authorities introduced it was terminating its contract with the MJC 18 years early. In accordance with a 24-year contract signed in 2018, the MJC pledged to speculate tens of millions into bettering infrastructure and increasing choices.

Macau’s Taipa Racecourse, pictured, might be returned to the federal government, which has no plans to supply racing once more. (Picture: Sky Racing World)

That by no means occurred as a result of horse racing within the former Portuguese colony by no means recovered after the pandemic. After the MJC collected over $311 million in working losses final yr, its dad or mum firm, the Macau Horse Racing Firm (MHRC), requested the federal government to free it from the contract.

Citing the “impossibility of aligning horse racing actions with the present developmental wants of society,” and making an allowance for “that these actions have progressively misplaced their attraction to native residents and vacationers lately, the federal government, after thorough analysis, determined to just accept the appliance from the Macau Horse Race Firm,” Secretary for Administration and Justice Cheong Weng Chon informed reporters in January.

Underneath the termination settlement, the MHRC will transport the house owners’ horses to different areas by March 31 2025, and supply severance pay to the corporate’s staff. (Regardless of its diminishing recognition in Macau, the MJC remained certainly one of Macau’s greatest personal employers with round 800 fulltime and 300 part-time employees.)

The land presently occupied by the MJC, which incorporates the Taipa Racecourse, might be returned to the federal government, which has no plans to construct one other racetrack. Lawmakers have beforehand raised the chance that the observe may very well be reworked right into a stadium for worldwide sports activities occasions.

The MJC has held the unique rights to supply horse racing and horse betting in Macau since its founding as a harness racing course known as the Macau Trotting Membership in 1980. However harness racing by no means received out of the gate in Macau, so the membership pivoted to the thoroughbred sort.

In 1991, the MJC was acquired by the MHRC, a consortium led by late playing tycoon Stanley Ho, who held the on line casino monopoly in Macau till 2002.

Horse racing stays widespread in neighboring Hong Kong.


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