The Macau Jockey Club (MJC) will cease operations and horse racing in the gambling hub after the government announced the termination of its contract. This decision, effective April 1, comes after the club experienced financial difficulties, including reported losses of US$261 million in 2022. The club had requested to be released from its contract due to its weakened financial position.
Secretary for Administration and Justice Cheong Weng Chon stated that the government accepted the application from the Macau Horse Race Company, citing the diminishing appeal of horse racing activities to the local residents and tourists in recent years. The land currently occupied by the club, including the Taipa Racecourse, will be returned to the government, which does not plan to offer tenders for racing in the future.
MJC, despite its declining popularity, remains one of Macau’s largest private employers with approximately 800 full-time workers and 300 part-timers. The government assured that these employees will receive severance pay in accordance with the law. Additionally, MJC has agreed to transport its horses to other locations by March 31 next year.
The jockey club had signed a 24-year contract with the government in 2018, promising investment in infrastructure and expansion of offerings, none of which materialized. The government now plans to research other possible uses for the facilities, with lawmakers suggesting the transformation of the track into a stadium for international sports events.
MJC had held the exclusive rights to offer horse racing and betting in Macau since its establishment in 1980. Initially focused on harness racing, the club later shifted to thoroughbred racing. In 1991, it was acquired by the Macau Horse Racing Company, led by gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, who held the casino monopoly in Macau until 2002.