Galaxy confirms Casino Waldo to operate until year-end

Two satellite casinos run by Galaxy Entertainment Group closed their doors on June 16.
Two satellite casinos run by Galaxy Entertainment Group closed their doors on June 16.

The company has cleared up doubts over the situation regarding Casino Waldo, confirming that it will remain open until December 31.

Macau.- Galaxy Entertainment Group has announced that the Casino Waldo satellite casino will continue to operate until December 31. A representative confirmed the decision to Macau Daily News after it was speculated that the casino operator may end its agreement with the complex as it did with Rio Casino and President Casino.

However, it was not revealed if the existing third-party management of Waldo Casino & Hotel will continue the gaming operation, or if Galaxy Entertainment Group will directly take over the casino business at the property.

As regards the closure of Rio Casino and President Casino, Rio Entertainment Ltd has questioned Galaxy’s decision to close the casinos, saying that the company had not sought to negotiate. However, Elmen Lee, Galaxy’s executive vice president for business development, hotel and MICE sales, told Macao Daily News that the gaming operator had been speaking with Rio’s management for several months about the future of the satellite casino.

Galaxy Entertainment said that staff from both of the satellite casinos would be transferred to other units with the same employment conditions.

Vote on Macau’s gaming law amendment bill to take place on June 21

The Legislative Assembly’s final debate and vote on Macau’s new gambling legislation have been scheduled for June 21 at 3pm. A final draft was approved by the Legislative Council’s second standing committee on June 15 and makes several changes to the original, the most important of which relate to tax hikes on gambling and the future of satellite casinos.

The new draft calls for operators to levy a 35 per cent direct gaming tax and a 5 per cent flat tax on Macau’s social welfare and urban development, an increase of 1 per cent from the previous one. This 5 per cent indirect tax can be reduced if operators manage to attract more foreign players to their casinos.

Major changes also require any casinos operating in the city to be established on assets owned by gaming operators. However, authorities extended the original three-year grace period proposed to allow satellite casinos to resolve ownership issues.

Six-month casino contract extensions will be signed on June 23 to extend existing concessions pending a new tender.

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