Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On has authorised Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac to sign an agreement with Macau Yat Yuen Canidrome Co. Ltd. to extent the firm’s greyhound racing concession for one year, until the end of 2016, according to the Official Gazette (BO).
The current concession is due to expire at the end of this year. In September, the government said that it had commissioned the University of Maca’s (UM) Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming (ISCG) to conduct a one-year research on the dog racetrack.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a Q&A session in the Legislative Assembly (AL), gaming executive-cum-lawmaker Angela Leong On Kei, the firm’s acting chairwoman, said that at the moment she was not able to say whether the company’s development plans for the racetrack will continue or not.
She reiterated the remarks she made on Sunday that the firm had come up with several development proposals for discussion with the government, containing a wide range of objectives including building a number of dormitories as an affordable choice for young people wishing to rent a flat, as well as refurbishing the existing racetrack facilities with additional features, which would not be “necessarily about gaming”, to attract tourists.
“As for whether I am disappointed or not [about the one-year extension], from an investor’s perspective, [one] would certainly hope that one’s proposal submitted to the government will be approved,” Leong said, “But even if the plans cannot go ahead, we’ll work hard in other aspects and try our best to break even, so our racetrack employees can still get their salaries”.
According to the website of the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), the Yat Yuen Canidrome recorded a gross revenue of 145 million patacas last year, just 0.4 percent of the gaming industrys total.
Local and foreign animal protection activists have repeatedly called for the racetrack’s closure, citing animal cruelty.