Macau Government begins consultation period for gaming industry

By Violeta Prockyte

Macau casino regulators are introducing changes to the city’s gaming industry, with the latest announcement concerning the removal of sub-concessions.

Public consultation regarding the future of the industry will be available from 15 September to 29 October 2021. One of the points of discussion is also the change in the number of concessions Macau will give out.

Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance, said the public can give their own input on what would be the maximum number of gaming concessions, but noted the number needs to be realistic. There’s no information if the current concessions will be extended.

Macau has six concessions that will expire in July 2022; three main and three sub-concessions. “The chances of additional concessions are low as the government repeated the mantra of sustainable development,” said analysts from Sanford C. Bernstein. Among the proposed changes is the length of the concession period, as it’s suggested the 20-year period might be too long.

“Considering the huge changes in Macau in terms of society and economy the Macau Government decided to proceed with a review of the current legal framework,” said Lei. He noted that over the two decades, the gaming sector contributed a lot to the city’s economy, but some change is necessary.

Experts believe that the current concessions will likely be renewed, but the operators might have to deal with new requirements. The consultation paper provided by the government doesn’t discuss the satellite casinos that are operated by third parties. According to the paper, the operators might be encouraged to increase local involvement aimed at Macau residents and non-gaming amenities.

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