Final vote on Macau junket bill could take place by mid-December

The bill proposes a new regulatory system for junket operators in Macau.
The bill proposes a new regulatory system for junket operators in Macau.

The Legislative Assembly is expected to hold a second-reading debate and final vote.

Macau.- The bill proposing changes to the legal framework around junket operations could be approved before the end of the year. Andrew Chan Chak Mo, chairman of the Legislative Assembly’s 2nd Standing Committee, which is analysing the bill, says a second-reading debate and final vote are expected by mid-December

He said the latest draft does not make significant changes to the proposed licensing terms and regulatory requirements for authorised junket companies. The bill would allow junket operators to each work with only one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies incorporated in Macau. 

The Macau government plans to make public information on the maximum number of junket operators that each Macau casino operator will be allowed to work with and the list of each operator’s junket partners. Another proposed licensing condition is that junkets must hold MOP10m (US$1.24m) in share capital in addition to a bank guarantee.

According to information provided by the government, there are currently 46 licenced junket companies in the Macau market. However, it is unknown how many of them are active. At the first reading30 MPs voted in favour while one voted against the bill. 

The Macau government expects the passage of the bill to coincide with the announcement of the new gaming concessionaires. Authorities expect to have the results of the retender ready in time to issue new licences by the end of the year.

Macau casino operators must invest up to US$12.4bn over 10 years

As we wait for the results of Macau’s casino licence retender, new details have emerged about the government’s requirements for licensees. TDM Radio Macau has reported that authorities told operators they will need to invest as much as MOP100bn (US$12.4bn) during the ten-year concessions.

This includes funding for international events such as the Macau Grand Prix and the Macau International Marathon. Both are important events for tourism in Macau, which can also benefit casinos. The government will also require licensees to support smaller events organised by local associations and the government.

Another requirement will be for casino operators to fund music events brought in from abroad, including from China and South Korea in a bid to appeal to more visitors. 

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