Macau Jockey Club with MOP1.5 bln in retained losses in 2019

The company responsible for the Macau Jockey Club has reported MOP1.5 billion (US$188.5 million) in retained losses in 2019, with no increases recorded in its registered capital.

The result is a slight expansion of losses after Macau Horse Racing Company reported MOP1.3 billion in accumulated losses for 2018, but still an improvement after the MOP4.1 billion reported in 2017.

The company’s financial balance sheet for last year does not include the year’s profits and losses, with the company’s financial operations the target of a government-mandated restructuring.

In 2018 Macau Horsing Racing Company saw its concession to explore the Macau Jockey Club operations extended by 24 years and six months until 2042, despite that at one point it owed some MOP200 million to the government.

About MOP150 million of that amount pertained to contributions to the Macau Pension Fund, with the company exempt from paying one per cent of its annual debt collection amounts since 2005.

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.

The Jockey Club 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 cancelled.

Despite the requirements, the local govermment has been the target of criticisms by the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) Follow-up Committee for Land Affairs and Public Concessions for failing to provide clear explanations for having extended the concession by such a lengthy-term.

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

According to the brief statement included in the financial report signed by Angela Leong, the Jockey Club has already concluded some works outlined in the extension contract, such as renewal works at its horse swimming pools, horse stables, and the first to fifth floors of its main building.

‘Although the global economy is being impacted by the pandemic, the company is confident that after the situation gets settled it will be able to again focus on increasing the number and quality of its horse races’, the statement noted.

The company expects to obtain the necessary investment capital through bank loans and shareholders, with the full investment expected to be regained in 20 years.

The company was also forced to undergo restructuring, having to achieve a minimum in the registered capital of MOP1.5 billion patacas by 2023 in different phases.

According to its 2019 financial balance, the company did not increase its registered capital, which remained at MOP600 million as in 2018.