Macau Jockey Club accumulated losses expand in 2022, some renovation works completed

The Macau Jockey Club has seen its accumulated reported losses increase in 2022, while still managing to complete some of the renovation works mandated by its concession extension contract.

Retained losses reported by the company responsible for the Macau Jockey Club increased to MOP2.1 billion (US$261.4 million) in 2022, its latest financial report published in the Official Gazette shows.

According to data published by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), 2022 finished with some MOP39 million in total horse racing gaming revenue results, MOP8 million less than in the previous year.

In the report signed by administration council president Angela Leong On Kei, the racing concessionaire underlines that the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions in force during 2022 also had an impact on the horse racing business to varying degrees.

As with several other concessionaires who published their financial reports in Macau, the company’s financial balance sheet for last year does not include the year’s profits and losses, only retained losses accumulated since the date of incorporation.

Still, the group declared to have already completed some of the renovation projects stipulated in the horse racing concession extension contract signed with the Macau SAR government.

These works include the MJC horse swimming pool, stables, floors one to five of the racecourse building, computer system replacements, and track improvements.

MJC underlined in the report to have continued to engage in horse racing activities in 2022 in accordance with the provisions and terms of the exclusive horse racing concession contract signed with the Macau SAR.

“As we enter 2023 with the gradual decline of the pandemic, various regions around the world, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, have fully relaxed their entry regulations, and the number of visitors to Macau has multiplied,” the report adds.

The Macau Jockey Club management added that as a tourism destination combining leisure and entertainment it would seize “this golden opportunity” to set diversified development goals, attract visitors from different regions to come and enjoy the excitement of horse racing while striving to make the Macau Jockey Club a “must-visit tourism and entertainment landmark for both tourists and local residents” and continue to the city’s status as a “World Center of Tourism and Leisure.”

The concession contract handed to Macau Horsing Racing Company has been initially granted in 1978, with its current lease revised and extended in 2018 until August 31, 2042.

The extension was handed despite the concessionaire having at one point owed some MOP200 million to the government and having gathered almost MOP4.1 billion in accumulated losses by 2017.

The Jockey Club operating company was then mandated to pay the full MOP150 million owed until March 2021, with MOP4.17 million having to be paid monthly, otherwise the extended concession contract would be canceled.

The lengthy extension led to criticisms of authorities by the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) Follow-up Committee for Land Affairs and Public Concessions for failing to provide clear explanations for the concession extension.

Claiming financial problems, the company headed by gaming businesswoman and legislator, Angela Leong On Kei, has also been exempted from paying the full MOP15 million land concession rent since 2008.

In order to see its license renewed, the company has pledged to invest between MOP3.5 billion to MOP4.5 billion to develop its facilities, including the construction of two hotels, smart stables, a horse theme park, and a riding school, providing its investment plan to the committee.

The horse racing concessionaire also saw Thomas Li Chu Kwan resign from his long-serving position as chief executive at the Macau Jockey Club in August, 2021.

Angela Leong currently holds the position of Macau Jockey Club Chairman of the Board, with Connie Kong Ieong as its Company Secretary and Director.