Macau Ceases Horse Racing After Over Four Decades Due to Jockey Club’s Financial Struggles

Published 01/15/2024, 1:15 PM EST

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The onset of 2024 has brought excitement to the horse racing community. With the grand Olympics lined up, the FEI and CDI have organized several exhilarating events. But the news coming from Hong Kong horse racing arenas isn’t a good one as one of the biggest companies will terminate its racing activities this year.

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For the past 40 years, the company has been a major racing organizer in Hong Kong. However, the pandemic started a decline in the company’s financials, and now, in mutual agreement with the government, it will shut down its activities in the Spring of this year.

One final lap for Macau Horse racing

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Macau Horse Racing Company has been a major name in Hong Kong for over 4 decades. But in a major development, it will terminate its activities from April 1. Macau signed a contract extension in 2018 with Jockey Club for 24 years and 6 months, effectively ending in August 2042. However, with the company having been at a loss for the past several years accumulating a deficit of $310 million, the government and the club have decided to cease the horse racing activities in Macau from April this year.

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An official from the Macau Administration also revealed similar reasons behind the shocking move. “The government, after careful consideration, found that the operation of horse racing activities failed to generate the economic and social benefits they should bring and decided against holding a new public tendering exercise after terminating its contract with the Macau Horse Racing Company”, Cheong Weng-chon revealed. The club’s activities drastically dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic, and had proposed the termination itself last year. Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced an all-time high turnover.

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Record-breaking turnover for HKJC

While Weng-chon noted that there was an overall decline in the horse racing industry forcing them to close down the business as a whole, Hong Kong Jockey Club’s numbers contradicted his facts. HJKC announced an all-time high turnover of $38.9 billion in the 2022-23 financial year, recording a decent 5.1 percent rise despite the pandemic.

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HJKC now remains the sole government-authorized operator providing horse racing and football betting services. However, the club expressed sadness over Macau’s contract termination. It also added that the reason behind its survival during the pandemic was that it was “better positioned than most other racing organizations to face these challenges”. With a final few months for Macau Jockey Club now, it will try to bring that excitement once again to the sport.

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Written by:

Zahid Rashid Dar

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I am an avid sports enthusiast who always seeks the thrill in the sporting avenues that serve adrenaline rush to its spectators. Hence, the nooks and crannies of the extreme sports realm such as equestrian sports, bull-riding, and the fast-paced world of rodeo hooked my attention and I became a lifelong fan. Along with this, my versatility spans from crafting insightful content on alpine skiing to exploring various facets of gymnastics.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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