Macau casino licences limited to six with a duration of 10 years

Authorities announced proposals to amend the gaming law.
Authorities announced proposals to amend the gaming law.

Macau’s new gaming law will allow up to six gaming concessions with a length of 10 years with the possibility of a 3-year extension.

Macau.- The Government of Macau has recently carried out a press conference to announce amendments to the gaming regulatory framework following the four public consultations on gaming laws that were held between October 22 and 25.

According to local media reports, there would be up to six concessions under the government-backed bill, ending the current sub-concession system

It was also revealed that the concession period will be for a maximum of 10 years, but can be extended for a further three years in exceptional circumstances.

The newly announced bill will be submitted to the City Legislative Council, where its members will vote on it. How long the process takes is up to the city’s lawmakers, who can also propose changes to the bill.

Another condition put forward by the government is that operators can only have a maximum of 30 per cent of their shares listed publicly. 

Five of the current casino operators are listed in Hong Kong, while Melco Resorts & Entertainment is listed on Nasdaq. It has also raised the minimum capital requirement from MOP200m to MOP5bn.

As regards the proposal to elect “delegates” to Macau’s gaming concessions, authorities said it was dropped.

André Cheong Weng Chon, Executive Council spokesperson, also revealed the new law stipulates that locals must hold 15 per cent of the shares, instead of 10 per cent as it is currently required.

Operators will be required to notify the government of capital allocations, but there are no restrictions initially feared. 

Taxes haven’t changed either. Macau has an effective tax rate of 39 per cent on its concessionaires, already one of the highest in the world.

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