The Macau government has already successfully negotiated with gaming operators a list of large scale sports events that would be organised every month annually, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng stated today (Tuesday) at the Legislative Assembly (AL).
Back in April, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong U, had already expressed government intentions host an international sports competition or event every month in the future.
“We have already discussed with the six gaming concessionaires to organize 12 large scale events […] one per month. We don’t want the events to be gathered in just one month but spread out to incentivise tourism. Gaming operators had already responded positively,” Ho stated while answering inquires from legislators at the AL concerning the 2021 policy address.
The CE noted that some sports events scheduled for the end of this year had to be cancelled due to the pandemic but authorities managed to still maintain some scheduled events, including the World Table Tennis (WTT), the Macau International Marathon and the Macau Grand Prix.
However, Ho admitted it was challenging to plan the events for next year considering that it was not possible to predict how the pandemic would evolve.
“The Secretary has already provided the list for events for next year […] but we can see the pandemic situation in Europe and the US. We don’t know if there will be participants from these regions […] These events take many previous preparations, travel and hotel bookings and negotiations with organising entities. I’ve had some headaches with some of these events,” the CE noted.
As an example, Ho indicated that contracts to organise this year’s Macau Grand Prix had already been signed last year, with authorities having to ponder if they intended to go ahead with the annual event, deciding, in the end, to keep it, despite the absence of most international participants.
“However it is hard to plan next year’s edition since we don’t know how the pandemic will evolve. Unless all participants come to meet me to say they will take part […] It’s not easy to make these decisions. It’s a big problem I need to solve.[…] Of course if we don’t organise them we could save money but we have to consider other factors,” Ho added.