Financial analysts say there is no longer time to ensure due process according to the current schedule for 2022.
Macau.- Analysts are increasingly forecasting a delay to Macau’s next casino licence tender.
The city’s current concessionaires’ licences are currently up for renewal in June 2022, but while Macau has said it intends to stick to the schedule, observers increasingly predict the process will be delayed because of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on casinos’ finances this year.
Morgan Stanley said this week that it believed Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, was likely to extend the current casino concessions for a further three years from 2021.
Ho has the power to extend the current licences for five years, but analysts believed the delay was likely to be up to a maximum of two years.
Morgan Stanley said that the June 2022 date does not leave enough time to pass corresponding legislation and carry out public consultation on the matter.
Macquarie Capital has also predicted the extension of current licences.
Analysts Edward Engel, Chad Benyon, Jordan Bender and Aaron Lee said they believed the current licences would be extended for two or three years.
They said another potential scenario was that Macau could renew the current licences for a period of 10 years (rather than20 years) but with favourable conditions for the operators, such as no change in tax rates, manageable concession payments and reasonable non-gaming capital expenditure mandates.
It has been suggested that Macau might increase the prices of gaming licences as the city looks to boost finances following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Macau’s chief executive already extended the concessions of SJM Holdings and MGM China in 2019.