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Macau gaming director to step aside

Manu

Macau
el Joaquim das Neves has confirmed he is to step down from his position as director of the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) in November.

Neves took over as the head of the DICJ in 1997, before Macau was handed over to Chinese control from Portugal in 1999.

He told state broadcaster TDM: “After 31 years as civil servant, 18 of which as Gaming Inspection Bureau director, I believe it’s time to take a break and spend more time with my family.”

Neves, who has been a civil servant for 31 years, oversaw the market being opened up to foreign operators following a change in law in 2001, ending the monopoly on the market held by SJM Holdings that had been in place since 1962.

The Macau casino market has generated more gaming win than the Vegas casino market in all of the last seven years, though it has seen its gross casino revenue decline year-on-year in all of the last 16 months.

Its annual figure of 351.52bn patacas for 2014 represented a decrease of 3% and was the first annual drop to have been reported since records began in 2002.

September’s total of 17.13bn patacas was the lowest monthly sum to have been reported since September 2010 and the current year-to-date gross revenue amount of 176.02bn patacas is down 36% year-on-year.

The fall in gross casino revenue has been put down to various causes, including a Chinese governmental campaign against corruption, a smoking ban that prohibits smoking on mass market gaming floors and new regulations restricting the maximum number of days Chinese tourists are allowed to stay in the city from seven to five.
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