A chorus of voices has arisen calling for the closure of Macau Canidrome. Local media Lusa news agency reports that economists have joined the debate along with community leaders and animal rights activists. Their contention is that greyhound racing and its attendant alleged abuses belongs to a previous culture of Macau and that the venue is no longer economically viable nor necessary.
Local economist José Luís Sales Marques, a well lettered and highly respected Macau civic leader, said in a statement to Lusa, that dog racing is a completely extemporaneous activity that gives Macau a bad image, and that the Canidrome should be closed.
The racing and betting facility’s license expired last year, but officials gave SJM Executive Director, Angela Leong On Kei a one year renewal after she seemingly made a successful argument that the canidrome had ‘a history and contributed to the local economy’.
The Macau Canidrome is the only licensed greyhound track in Asia, according to Macau Business Daily, who said that revenues there represent only 0.05 per cent of the SAR’s total gaming revenue, and have been falling since at least 2010.
The canidrome belongs to an era before Macau became the world’s largest gaming zone, a time in the 1960’s and 1970’s when lawlessness ruled the former Portuguese enclave, and before the industry was regulated by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ). At that time there were not as many entertainment or gambling options, and people’s sensibilities and sympathies toward sporting animals were not as developed or refined.
Greyhound racing as a betting sport has seen a tremendous decline around the world in recent decades. The practice is currently illegal in at least 39 U.S. states, 4 states have closed all tracks without enacting law, and 7 states still allow. Some jurisdictions, such as Australia’s Greyhound Racing NSW, highly regulate all elements of greyhound racing.
The Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome‘s license will expire December 31, 2016 unless extended or renewed.