The Macau Jockey Club (MJC) revealed Friday that the new 2023/2024 season has been approved by the Macau government, with the first meeting to take place on 29 September.
The announcement comes in the wake of recent media reports suggesting MJC might have run its last race for failing to satisfactorily upgrade facilities as promised when it was granted a 24-year concession extension in February 2018.
Instead, the operator posted a notice on its website late Friday confirming a full season ahead – starting on Friday 29 September 2023 and concluding on Saturday 31 August 2024. Night races will also resume from January, although it is not yet known how many races will be run or if any new horses will run.
Asian Racing Report recently revealed that the number of horses in Macau has fallen to around 220 from a high of 1,200 two decades ago, while the number of races per year has also dropped from 1,200 back in 2003 to just a single meet with a handful of races each week.
IAG also spoke to MJC employees who claimed the organization has not increased its staff count post-pandemic and has stopped the recruitment process completely for new staff.
This led to reports of genuine concern among officials that MJC’s future was in doubt given the venue’s ageing facilities and increasing losses.
The MJC reported in June accumulated losses of MOP$2.1 billion (US$260 million) through 2022, representing an increase of around MOP$200 million (US$25 million) over the previous 12 months.