Extensive non-gaming plans required for tender bidders

Bidding companies joining the new public tender to award the gaming concessions will need to submit detailed and extensive plans on a variety of non-gaming projects and activities ranging from MICE, entertainment, sports events, arts and culture, health and wellbeing, gastronomy and community tourism among others, the tender programme seen by Macau News Agency indicates.

In addition to the casino operation plans, the programme made available to interested parties by the commission in charge of the gaming tender process requires bidders to submit thorough non-gaming plans which will need to include “the nature, content, amount, location and space, initial and annual investment and implementation plans, estimated economic benefit (especially the proportion of revenue from non-gaming projects in relation to the general income), and the estimate of the extension of the stay in Macau of tourists, regarding the investments of each item, explaining them in a quantifiable way for each year”.

Tapping into foreign markets 

The first investment item regards the place of origin of international visitors, a requirement in line with what is spelled out as the second out of seven criteria listed in the executive order launching the public tender published on July 28 by the Chief Executive in the Official Gazette. 

Bidders will need to specify their plans in terms of organization of promotional and marketing activities with the aim of raising awareness of international custumers on Macau,  “increase international visitors’ willingness to visit Macau and optimize their experience of services provided in Macau, consolidate existing markets and explore new markets abroad” with the aim of “significantly increasing the proportion of international visitors”.

As expected, MICE (conventions and exhibitions) is also featured in the non-gaming investment items chapter. Bidders are required to optimize and improve the scale and quality of MICE infrastructures and to enhance their planning, organization and marketing activities to attract more multinational companies to hold their events in Macau on the regular basis. Gaming concession bidders will need to indicate their plans to interact and cooperate with the Greater Bay Area cities in developing the SAR’s MICE industry. 

Focus on entertainment, arts and culture 

World-class films and TV shows should also be held as concessionaires should bring to Macau internationally-renowned artists and music performers. Bidders are also expected to submit plans to hold film festivals, cultural shows, parades and carnivals, while enhancing their ties with local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Sports events should be held on a regular basis by the gaming concessionaires, who also need to focus on improving the infrastructure quality to hold these events. This includes international and inter-regional competitions (e-sports included). 

The item on arts and culture details requirements to hold exhibitions featuring arts, handicraft, antiques, animation, fashion, books and luxury goods as well as literary events. Bidders should also put forth plans to develop theme museums, art galleries and theatres.

World-renowned masters should be invited to display their art works and give talks. These should be carried out in cooperation with the local cultural and artistic community.

Health and culinary tourism

The sixth item on the non-gaming requirements concerns health and wellbeing. Health tourism is key in this respect, as companies will need to develop health tourism products and services. These include medical care, traditional Chinese medicine services, and beauty and rehabilitation spas, among others. 

Concessionaires are also expected to develop innovative and high-tech thematic attractions that can be on par with what has been developed in neighbouring regions. This is to attract a diversity of tourists from different age groups.  

As Macau earned the title of UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2018, the Government wants concessionaires to tap into it and further promote the diversification of gastronomy elements in cooperation with local SMEs. 

Community tourism is another item mentioned in the tender programme. This entails making the most of the city’s cultural and heritage appeal by cooperating with the local community in developing Macau-style tourist products. 

Maritime tourism is listed as the 10thitem, as bidders shall develop waterfront leisure events and seaside sports and other related products

Finally, the tender programme requires bidders to submit plans related to other projects, such as support to scientific and technological innovation and S&T industries in general, as well as “other non-gaming projects that may create world-class tourism experiences for visitors coming from all over the world and provide new opportunities for the development of local SMEs in a way that is mutually beneficial to the bidder and the SMEs and that promotes economic diversification and sustainable urban development of the SAR”. 

Main criteria 

In line with the July 28 executive order, the tender programme states that in addition to the bidders’ suitability and financial capacity and conditions that are more advantageous for the SAR to develop casino games of chance, authorities will take into account seven criteria: 1) the amount of the proposed premium; 2) plans regarding the expansion to costumers from foreign markets; 3) experience in operating casino games of chance or related fields; 4) the SAR’s interest regarding non-gaming projects; 5) the casino management plan; 6) proposal of overseeing and preventing illicit activities in casinos; and 7) social responsibilities.

All interested parties should submit their bids by no later than 5:45 pm on September 14 with a security deposit of at least MOP10 million (US$1.25 million).

The city’s current six gaming concessions and sub-concessions will expire by the end of this year.

All current six concessionaires (SJM Resorts S.A., Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A. and Galaxy Casino, S.A. ) and subconcessionaires (MGM Grand Paradise, S.A., Melco Resorts (Macau), S.A. and Venetian Macau, S.A) have said they will join the public tender.

Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong – who heads the eight-strong tender commission – guaranteed on Thursday (July 28) that there will be a level playing field for the city’s existing gaming operators and newcomers, who are interested in bidding for a gaming concession in the public tender process.

The six concessions to be granted will have a maximum term of 10 years, with an additional three-year extension possible under extraordinary circumstances.