Macau accepts gaming concession bids – one conditionally

Bid submissions for new concessions closed on September 14.
Bid submissions for new concessions closed on September 14.

Bids from Macau’s current six casino operators have been accepted without mention of any condition.

Macau.- The committee overseeing Macau’s gaming concession retender has opened the seven bids received. It issued a statement saying that all seven bid has been accepted, though it’s been noted that the surprise bid by GMM Limited, the only bidder not already operating casinos in Macau had been “conditional accepted” while the others were accepted without mention of any condition.

Bids may be accepted conditionally if documents are submitted without non-essential formalities, or if the bidder has failed to submit the required documents due to justified circumstances beyond its control.

These may include documents issued by the Financial Services Authority certifying that neither the bidder nor its group, major partners, directors or shareholders holding at least 5 per cent of its share capital had tax or social security debts in Macau over the past five years. Other possible documents could be the risk assessment report concerning the bidders controlling partner, directors or major shareholders.

Such violations must be remedied “within the period specified by the Awards Committee for this purpose” or the admission will expire.

GMM unlikely to win Macau gaming concession, analysts say

Few people expect Macau to grant a licence to GMM Limited. Alidad Tash, a Macau-based gaming analyst, told Macau News Agency: “Why would any of the current six be let go? They’ve got everything the government has asked them to do: they have properties, they have employees, and they have 20 years of history.”

Brokerage JP Morgan stressed: “It is unlikely for a government to choose a new foreign operator over incumbents, who have invested billions of dollars and employed local staff over two decades, including in an unprecedented downturn like this.”

However, Ben Lee, managing director of IGamiX Management & Consulting, thinks GMM has “a fairly good chance” of winning a concession.

According to Lee “Genting has is its experience and willingness to invest in theme parks. Macau has talked that up in the past, and all the existing six operators – despite Galaxy Entertainment Group talking about it – walked away from the idea.

Brokerage Nomura agreed, saying GGM could design a resort that would address the government’s priorities as opposed to the incumbents who have already developed resorts that were geared to the VIP-heavy days of the past.

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