Skip to content
Menu

Lawmaker calls for more sports to utilise Macao’s sizeable racecourse

The MJC needs more money and the government wants Macao to stage more international sports events. Could widening the racecourse’s remit help both causes?

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

The MJC needs more money and the government wants Macao to stage more international sports events. Could widening the racecourse’s remit help both causes?

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 8:13 am

Lawmaker Leong Sun Iok has suggested that the beleaguered Macau Jockey Club (MJC) be redeveloped into a general sports and leisure facility, while retaining its horse racing identity, according to a report in specialist publication Inside Asian Gaming.

Leong spoke at a Legislative Assembly (AL) session earlier this week, outlining a plan to turn Macao into a destination for international sporting events.

The city’s racecourse occupies a large swathe of land in the city – one that could, perhaps, accommodate “more sports events and activities such as cycling and football,” Leong said, and become “an iconic sports and leisure destination in Macao.” 

The lawmaker’s comments come after the MJC’s recent proposal to slash its prize pool was met with industry outrage. Last month, the club did an about turn in order to avoid a strike by jockeys and horses trainers.

[See more: Hold your horses: What’s next for the Macau Jockey Club]

Making its land available for use by other sporting groups could be an alternative way for the MJC to improve its dire financial situation – which has fuelled speculation around horse racing’s long-term future in Macao.

The last two decades have seen a sharp fall in the MJC’s fortunes, with the club announcing accumulated losses of 2.1 billion patacas in 2022. 

IAG reports that the MJC’s betting turnover was just 51 million patacas in the third quarter of 2023, a 63 percent decline on the same period in 2019. 

The Macau Jockey Club was granted a 24-year lease extension in 2018, contingent on it spending billions of patacas on upgrading its facilities – including the construction of two hotels, smart stables, an equine theme park, and a riding school. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 8:13 am

Send this to a friend