THE Macau Jockey Club (MJC) has been warned by police that it faces prosecution for bookmaking offences under the territory's Gambling Ordinance. Local broadcaster ATV, due to begin televising races from Taipa on Sunday, could also face court action for breaching the same ordinance, along with any local newspapers which carry advertisements for MJC Telebetting. A police probe is already under way into the operations of the MJC's Hong Kong office at Shun Tak Centre. In January, the MJC was advised that it was liable to prosecution because the provision of facilities for punters to open Telebet accounts and then place toll-free bets in Macau was contrary to Section 7 of the ordinance which prohibits the 'soliciting' of bets. The MJC sought legal opinion and for seven months the Prosecutions Division of the Legal Department studied the case. But in late August, MJC lawyers were told the department believed the MJC's Hong Kong operation fell under the definition of 'bookmaking' as contained in the Gambling Ordinance. This is an alleged breach of Section 7 of the ordinance, and the MJC's legal advisers were told the club was also in breach of section 9 which forbids the promotion of a 'lottery'. The MJC was then given a 'reasonable period' to curtail its Shun Tak Centre operations or the police would launch a further investigation to gather evidence to support a prosecution. That deadline is now expiring. Under section 7 of the ordinance 'any person who engages or assists another person in bookmaking is liable on conviction or indictment to a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for seven years'.