The Macau Jockey Club (MJC) had a meeting with horse owners last Friday. Inside Asian Gaming has been informed by insiders that many of the owners are “furious” about the MJC’s concession ending and are demanding payment.
The Macau government said on January 15th that the MJC’s 24-year concession will terminate on April 1st, 2024, as IAG had previously reported. During a press conference the same day, the MJC announced a meeting with owners later in the month but refused to accept questions.
Despite the absence of any MJC management staff, the meeting was allegedly held on January 26. The topic of discussion was what would happen to horses in the future, since the government has ordered that they be sent to the Chinese mainland by March 31, 2025.
The owners were presented with two options at the meeting, according to sources: either ship the horses overseas and pay MOP $8,000 per month in maintenance until they are moved permanently to the mainland, or transfer ownership of the horses to the MJC without having to pay any more maintenance fees.
Many horse owners were reportedly upset and outraged after the meeting; some said the MJC was making the owners take more responsibility for solving the issue rather than offering support.
“If the horses are transferred to the Jockey Club, the Club has not offered any compensation, but if they are transported overseas by the owners themselves, the quarantine and transportation costs are the responsibility of the owners,” according to someone with knowledge of the situation.
Horse owners are asked to reply by Friday, February 2nd, according to the MJC.
In addition, the MJC has recommended four markets for the export of horses: Malaysia, the United States, Europe, and mainland China. Additional markets are still pending approval.
The horses will be cared for by a few stable employees until they are relocated, according to the MJC.
On its official website, the MJC states that “most horses have already experienced a long period of racing since September, and frequent racing is not conducive to the health of the horses.” As a result, the race meeting scheduled for this Friday has been postponed for the second week in a row.
There are 289 horses at the MJC at the moment that need to be moved by March 31, 2025.
Original story by: IAG
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