A request by the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Club to extend the July 20, 2018 deadline to either relocate or close completely has reportedly been rejected by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).
Asia Gaming Brief reports that according to local media, the DICJ confirmed on Thursday that the deadline imposed in 2016 still stands after earlier in the week the facility that is Asia’s only legal dog-racing track submitted its plan to re-home its more than 600 Australian-bred greyhounds. According to the report, the Canidrome requested on Tuesday that it be granted a 120-day extension for use of the facilities, including use of Macau Jockey Club (MJC) facilities, after the deadline.
Regarding the use of MJC facilities, the bureau did not offer comment on the proposal instead passing the responsibility of that decision to the Land, Public Works, and Transport Department (DSSOPT).
Asia Gaming brief further reports that a spokesperson for the DICJ confirmed to the Macau News Agency (MNA), that the Canidrome’s proposal had yet to be approved, but that the request was forwarded to the DSSOPT.
The first proposal by the Canidrome was rejected by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM), which on Tuesday also reportedly obtained a copy of the plan. However, it said that a decision regarding the plan would be issued after the DICJ issued its decision.
The greyhound racing track will close its doors on July 21, 2018, after in 2016, the DICJ gave it two years to relocate or close completely. Prior to that, in November 2015, the exclusive ten-year renewal contract that was granted to the company in 2005 expired and was given a one-year extension through December 31, 2016.
Owned by SJM Holdings Co-Chairman and Executive Director, Angela Leong On Kei, the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Company has operated the dog racing track since 1963, however for years its profits have fallen as social expectations regarding the treatment of animals have changed.
Inside Asian Gaming’s chief executive officer, Andrew Scott, reportedly told abc.net.au that the interest in greyhound racing isn’t there from young people and that they are more concerned about the welfare of animals than their predecessors.
“The respect for the animals wasn’t what it should have been. And a lot of young people were not happy about that,” said Scott.
Australia’s national broadcaster reports that despite multiple attempts by Greyhounds Australasia to help navigate adoptions of the dogs back in Australia, the Canidrome has not seen its way to confirm the identities of the greyhounds nor provide access for behavior experts of the breed to assess their suitability to be rehomed.
According to activists, the Canidrome’s greyhounds could end up at illegal races in mainland China where greyhound racing is outlawed but illegal and unregulated meets still occur, abc.net.au reports.