No plans to delay future gaming concessions public tender – Secretary for Economy

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong stated today (Thursday) that local authorities do not have any plans to delay the future gaming concessions public tender beyond 2022.

Local gaming results have been greatly impacted this year due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, dropping by 82.5 per cent year-on-year to some MOP38.6 billion (US$4.8 billion) between January and September, leading some analysts to consider that the crisis could lead local authorities to delay the gaming law revision and public tender process.

However, speaking today after the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China celebration event, Secretary Lei indicated that local authorities would maintain their planned schedule for the procedures that will determine the future of the local gaming license concessions.

The current six gaming concessions and sub-concessions held by MGM China, Sands China, Wynn Macau, SJM Holdings, Melco Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment Group are all set to expire in 2022 but few details have been provided yet on how their future will be determined.

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng previously indicated that the gaming law revision could be submitted for public consultation this year, however, today Secretary Lei only noted that the new law will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for evaluation in 2021.

“The gaming law revision is on our schedule for next year. We are already in the preparation stage and we have to consider many technical issues. The circumstances during the gaming market liberalisation in 2002 and now are very different. We also have to consider the future economic circumstances. We will only present to the Legislative Assembly gaming law next year,” Secretary Lei added.

Analysts previously consulted by Macau Business predicted an end to the sub-concessions model, and tighter supervision both at a local and a national level, while new requirements related to social responsibility, economic diversification, and regional integration would be included in the new legislation.