The Macau Horse Racing Company has been given three years to pay its back taxes and if it fails its license will be revoked, Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac said.
The company owes a total of MOP150 million ($18.5 million)
“Since they have showed willingness to continue working we have established that they can pay the expenses in three years […]. In the contract it is pretty clear that if they cannot pay the amount in three years the concession contract will be revoked,” Leong was quoted by local media as saying.
The company, which runs the Macau Jockey Club, recently won an extension to its concession for a further 24 years and six months. The tax repayment clause was part of the contract.
Macau’s Jockey Club has been struggling for years and hasn’t made a profit since 2004. The emergence of the IRs on the Cotai strip has hastened its decline.
In neighbouring Hong Kong, where the Jockey Club still enjoys a gambling monopoly, betting has steadily increased.
The horse population in Macau has dropped to 330 and with just 57 race meetings held last season compared to 88 in Hong Kong. For the year ending Sept. 2017, the HKJC posted record turnover of $216 billion, up 6.8 percent.