Embattled Macau Horse Racing gains Jockey Club contract extension

mjcMacau Horse Racing (MHR) has been granted a two year services contract extension to operate the Macau Jockey Club.

MHR has held the monopoly racetrack contract since 1978, the contract was last extended in 2005.

Lionel Vai Tac Macau’s Economic and Finance Secretary confirmed that the extension had been granted, with MHR paying 15 million Patacas (£1.3 million) to maintain its contract. Macau’s finance secretary detailed that the contract remains of the same value as its 2005 extension.

The granting of the Jockey Club contract extension to MHR, has met criticism within Macau business circles. MHR is struggling as a racetrack operator having not posted corporate profits in over a decade.

According to its annual report MHR posted a loss of HK$49.7 million (£4.2 million) in the last financial year, wider than the HK$39.9 million (£3.3 million) in 2013.

In its chequered history as operator of the Jockey Club, MHR has faced multiple claims of budget and premises mismanagement MHR has been criticised for its maintenance of the Jockey Club, which has met concerns regarding public safety and sub-standard animal welfare conditions.

Macau Animal Welfare Society ANIMA has continually criticised MHR operations, stating that Jockey Club stables provide “dungeon-like” conditions.

In June Vincent Li Hoi-yuen, Chairman of the Macau Race Horse Owners Association, called for more investment.

“A lot of the facilities should be repaired or improved, but to be realistic, it depends on the owner of the Macau Jockey Club, whether they want to invest more money or have a better long-term plan.”

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