Gaming watchdog refuses Canidrome request

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has refused the request made by the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Company to extend its concession contract in order to continue exploring the facilities for another five years, even if greyhound racing has ceased. Last year, the Canidrome asked the government for permission to continue using the facilities to host the greyhounds. The Canidrome also requested permission to broadcast races held outside of the MSAR.

In a statement issued yesterday, the DICJ says that the Canidrome facilities should be empty by July 20, which is the date of the end of its concession. According to the gaming watchdog, the company initially failed to present a detailed proposal regarding the broadcast and the greyhounds’ fate. Following meetings, the Canidrome presented a written proposal on March 2018, which the DICJ has now rejected.

“Bearing in mind that social awareness about animal rights is increasing worldwide and greyhound protection has deserved special attention by the MSAR residents, and considering that the greyhound races in other regions have been suspended for identical reasons […] the proposal to broadcast the greyhound races held in other regions to the MSAR is a contradiction to the values of animal protection,” the DICJ stated.

In the statement, the DICJ cites a study made by the University of Macau in 2016 arguing that the “exploitation of greyhound races has been of little relevance over the years, namely in aspects such as taxes, job creation and related commercial activities.” According to the study, the local Canidrome has also been negligible in terms of promoting local tourism or “offering an alternative leisure space to Macau residents.”

The DICJ also states that “to broadcast greyhound races held elsewhere would change the recreational and touristic nature that greyhound races traditionally have and transform them into mere bets, something which does not match the political strategy of responsible gaming promoted by the Macau government.” 

Also yesterday, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau has sent a letter to the Canidrome demanding the “immediate submission” of a plan to relocate the greyhounds. PB

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