The Manila Jockey Club, home to gambling activities surrounding horse racing and cockfighting, saw a decrease in interest in the first half of 2018. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company reported a net loss of $1.4 million. However, this was better than the same period last year, in which it lost $1.69 million.
First-half revenue was up 28.8% year-on-year, coming in at $7.3 million. In the second quarter of 2018, it lost $460,622 compared to a loss of $975,545 a year ago. Casino-related revenue during the first half also declined.
The club is operated through a lease agreement with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR). The lease stipulates that the Manila Jockey Club can “lease [a] 1,427-square-metre [15,360 sq. feet] property, with modern slot machines, including the rights to a proprietary system of linking and networking the said slot machines in Turf Club Building, San Lazaro Leisure Park, Carmona, Cavite.” That agreement is currently under renewal and also stipulates that the club can “receive monthly variable rent equivalent to 35 percent of revenues less winnings/prizes and 5 percent franchise tax.”
According to the club’s filing, income through the agreement was down for the first half of the year. It reported the income at $125,458, while last year it had collected $189,139 for the same period.
One area that didn’t change was the club’s leased area for “casino and related activities.” The space, which covers 189,231 square meters (2.036 million square feet), saw its rent income close the period at $11,235—the same amount it was last year.
Manila Jockey Club has a 22.31% stake in another company, MJC Investments Corp. MJC operates a casino at Winford Hotel, located in the San Lazaro Tourism and Business Park in the Philippines. The club reported that its “equity in net losses” in that venture also declined in the first half, dropping to $1.52 million from the $3.2 million seen for all of 2017.
The club, along with the Philippine Racing Club and Metro Manila Turf Club, are hoping to offset recent losses by offering more gambling options. They want to bring back the double quinella, which sees gamblers betting on the first and second-place finishers in a race, as well as introduce the triple trifecta, which is an option through which bettors place wagers on who will finish first, second and third. However, it may be too little, too late. According to Jenny Ortuoste of the Manila Standard, “Thoroughbred industry is in actual and immediate danger of dying out.”