Speaking at a press conference, Cheong outlined the Commission’s goal of expanding the Macau gambling sector into foreign markets, a move intended to provide a boost for the industry.
The new committee was set up in July 2022 to evaluate and examine new bidders for casino licences. Committee members include Cheong, who is also Secretary for Administration and Justice, Finance and Economy Chief Li Wai Nong, Head of Tourism Board Marina Helena de Senna Fernandes and Head of the Gambling Regulator Adriano Ho.
Cheong went on to discuss the previous 2001 Commission, highlighting how different objectives account for the need for different panel members.
He said: “At that time, what was on the line was gaming liberalisation and the focus was on boosting Macau’s economic development from the gaming sector so that this was reflected in the composition of the members of the Commission.”
In 2001, the Secretary for Economy and Finance served as Chairman of the Commission and as Director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), with other government figures in senior roles.
Cheong added: “This time, and after 20 years have passed, we already have a certain scale and so the government does not want and will not reinforce the infrastructure of the casinos.
“We will not do that. We will pay more attention to the non-gaming elements as well as support for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the expansion into foreign markets.”
Finally, Cheong disclosed the involvement of other government departments in the Commission’s work, saying: “Later we will have works that are related to the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Sports Bureau, and other services and departments that are under the Secretariat of Economy and Finance, among others. They are all going to participate in this work.”