Macau’s controversial dog racing track, the Canidrome, will close down on 21 July, according to Angela Leong.
As reported by Macau News Agency, Ms Leong, who is the current owner of Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd, confirmed to media this week that the facilities would be shut permanently in 2018 following an order by the Macau SAR Government that operations must either shut down or relocate by July.
There has been no word yet on the fate of the 600 greyhounds that race at the Canidrome.
In 2016, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau cited a study which showed gross gaming revenue from greyhound racing had declined 13.8% year-on-year in 2015 from MOP$145 million to MOP$125 million. It also acknowledged changing “social expectations” in regards to how animals are treated, stating in its 2016 ultimatum that Yat Yuen must improve its animal welfare standards if it did choose to relocate. It has been reported that around 400 dogs are killed in Macau each year for being too slow.
Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd announced last year a plan to replace local greyhound races with live broadcasts of overseas races and virtual races in order to “preserve its legacy” when the Canidrome ceases operations in 2018.
“After a long and careful consideration, the company proposes to create a system of racing visualization abroad, allowing Macau and its visitors to follow up on international greyhound racing,” it said at the time. It would also “implement a system of ‘virtual races’ – a combination of science, technology and gaming – thus allowing to maintain the culture of Macau Canidrome and extending Macau Canidrome to a more international scale.”