The Macau SAR Chief Executive has stated today (Tuesday) that the current gaming concession could be extended beyond their set June, 2022 expiration deadline if works to revise the current gaming law and prepare the future concession public tender are not completed on time.
The current law sets 20 years as the maximum period for gaming concessions, with authorities able to extend the concessions for up to five years.
All six concessions and sub-concessions are set to expire in June, 2022 with no indications provided by authorities so far on if the concessions will still be extended before that deadline.
“After the [revision of gaming] law is completed, we will gradually implement the relevant works. Please don’t worry. If the works could not be completed on time like the tender process, we could extend [the licenses], a condition that has already been stipulated in the current framework of [gaming] law [..] We have the mechanism [of extending the existing licenses],” Ho replied in the question and answer session after his policy address at the Legislative Assembly.
“We will try our best to do our work but we will carry out the tasks step by step to be in tandem with the healthy development of the gaming industry. The six gaming operators are very clear about this — the healthy development [of the sector] — and the government will not get them in trouble”.
The public consultation on the proposed gaming law revision finished on October 29 – held a session reserved for gaming industry representatives on September 20 and sessions on four consecutive days for the general public between October 22, 23, 24, and 25.
Authorities have 180 days to provide a final report on the public consultation, with a draft bill to then be submitted to the AL for evaluation.
“The content of the public consultation is currently being summarized. […] The law will reveal issues related to the gaming industry, with the nine major directions for the sector have been clearly defined in the law,” the CE added.
The consultation document identifies the main elements under consideration, namely, social responsibility; non-gaming development; strengthening government supervision, and strengthening penalties for violations.
Only three gaming concessions were granted during the 2002 casino liberalization process to SJM Resorts Ltd, a subsidiary of SJM Holdings Ltd; Wynn Resorts (Macao) SA, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts Ltd; and Galaxy Casino SA, connected to Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
According to the document the current sub-concession status will be removed, however, no indication was provided on the possible number of allowed concessions and even if the sub-concessions will be converted into full-fledged concessions.
The administration also plans to continue with the ‘stable development of the gaming industry, the guarantee of the employment of residents and their career advancement’, with concessionaires and sub-concessionaires to ‘duly assume their social responsibilities.
The 2022 policy address document makes few references for the government’s plans for the city’s main business sector next year stating only that authorities will ‘improve the legal diplomas related to the gaming sector’ and the procedures for the oversight of the sector.