Macau Jockey Club and Racing Complex opened in 1980 as the Macau Trotting Club to promote harness racing in Asia. In 1989 the track switched focus to thoroughbred horse racing. Horses coming from United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada and France train and race at MJC. Macau Horse Racing Co. Ltd. runs this facility and continues to monopolise horse racing betting and online free bets in Macau. In its history of operation, MJC has faced financial losses. The club has failed to make an annual profit since 2004. The club seems to be in trouble because it has been losing money year after year. High maintenance costs ate up revenue leading to losses. In 2015 the club’s total revenues were down almost 60% from the previous year.
Multiple claims of budget and mismanagement is being pointed out as the cause of the collapse in popularity of the facility. Although the club is still able to attract visitors with its Triple Crown series, some members are complaining on the reduction on the number of events. Their chief concern is the dwindling number of events for Class 1 horses. Too few events mean some horses cannot race on top-class races for months. This may potentially affect the horses’ long-term performance. The club can barely stage two race meetings a week. It has a difficulty coming up with large field sizes to simulate wagering and turnover.
The pool of horses has also dwindled. From 1,100 active horses 6 years ago, there are only 600 horses in training according to the website. But some sources said that the actual number of horses is only 460 and probably 30-40 of them are injured. The declining horse population creates a consequential decline in racehorse ownership. The number and the quality of jockeys riding there are also affected.
The club has also been criticised for its maintenance, public safety and sub-standard facilities. A Macau Derby Winner The Alfonso had been injured after a large piece of concrete in the ceiling of his stable collapsed. The falling ceiling happened many times before luckily no horses were hit. The president of Society for the Protection of Animals Macau is complaining of sub-standard animal welfare. He said that the stables are dirty and very badly managed. There is also no place for retired animals and they can be stuck in the stable for five months without going outside. A report also said that there are a considerable number of horses that are being fed and kept in confined spaces for months.
Club members accuse troubled MJC of mismanagement. Bosses at the Club have been accused by 19 disgruntled members who claim budget cuts left the club at a dire state. They claimed that a retired racehorse is living in an austere stable. The spokesperson for the Macau Jockey Club rejected the claims and said the concerns are now being addressed. The Club together with the government are trying to address the concerns of disgruntled members. They promise to get the operation back on track. The Club has also been in talks with South Korea and Turkey for a possible partnership that would help narrow the company’s losses.