First debate on Macau gaming law amendment bill set for January 24

Macau's new gaming law amendment bill was revealed last Friday.
Macau's new gaming law amendment bill was revealed last Friday.

A first-reading debate and vote on the gaming law amendment bill will be held next Monday.

Macau.- Macau’s Legislative Council will conduct its official first reading of the gaming law amendment bill on January 24. The bill will be sent to a subcommittee after a first reading vote. The committee may propose changes before a second and final reading and voting at another plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

As the entire process may not be completed before the six existing casino concessions expire on June 26, authorities will consider extending existing licensees to the extent permitted by current gaming laws.

Under the new amendment bill, the concession period will be for a maximum of 10 years but can be extended for a further three years in exceptional circumstances. There would remain up to six concessions but the current sub-concession system would end.

All six Macau casino operators have shown support for amendments to the gaming regulatory framework. MGM China Holdings said the bill “provides details over various key aspects of the overall administrative procedures and timetable, outlining a clear roadmap on the upcoming important milestone of retendering.”

Sands China said the amendments provide “clear guidelines on several proposed changes following feedback from the industry and the general public.” Wynn Macau said: “The enhancement of these regulations will significantly strengthen the sustainable development of Macau.”

SJM Resorts SA said the bill showed “the Government has taken into account the views collected from the industry and various sectors during the public consultation.” Galaxy Entertainment Group said that “having optimised laws and regulations in place will lay a solid foundation for the city’s steady development.”

Meanwhile, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, said it is “committed to participating in the public tender of the award of a gaming concession and will continue to promote economic diversification.”

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