According to a report from public broadcaster TDM Canal Macau, the Macau Jockey Club (MJC) has recently informed its club members and horse owners about a 30 percent decrease in horse betting prize money, which took effect on Saturday.
As financial challenges persist for Macau’s sole horse betting operator, it has made this decision, notes the broadcaster. Despite some slight improvement since the strict Covid-related restrictions of previous years, horse racing has not fully recovered from the pandemic.
Gross revenue for the first nine months of this year stood at MOP32 million ($4 million), marking a 14 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. However, this figure represents only 43 percent of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. When compared to the first three quarters of 2013, the MOP32 million ($4 million) tally amounts to a mere 11.7 percent.
In August, it was reported that Macau’s sole horse racing betting operation could shutter as early as December, with employees possibly being made redundant afterward. However, the MJC has received approval from local authorities for its 2023/2024 race season schedule.
The horse racing operator committed to investing the MOP1.5 billion ($190 million) in stages to upgrade existing facilities and develop non-gaming offerings.
These plans included constructing new commercial areas and restaurants, two hotel blocks, two apart-hotel blocks, a theme park, a tennis court, and an equestrian school. Some of these projects are expected to be completed by 2024, while others are scheduled until 2026.