Macau: expert raises concerns over licence system

Macau: expert raises concerns over licence system

A gaming scholar from Macau has questioned the current licence system in the city due to its inefficiency in responding to rapid market changes.

Macau.- Gaming scholar Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic Institute, has questioned the city’s use of a public concession approach of 20 year-long licences. He considers it inefficient for the managment of the Macau casino industry.

With the current six concessions due to expire in June 2022, he suggested the use of fresh licences with only 10 years’ duration, and a “review and licence renewal” every five years.

According to Changbin, a shorter concession period would enable authorities to have the “flexibility” to respond to any rapid market changes.

The comments were published in an article in the current issue of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Gaming Law Journal.

Changbin wrote that the purpose of a 20-year concession period was “to make sure the concessionaires make a profit from the concession.” But his concerns over the long concession periods, especially considering the current pandemic crisis, stem from the “difficulty for the government to replace a possibly unsatisfied concessionaire or introduce more operators into the market in a timely way.”

He said: “With the current limitation of the concession system, the Macau government cannot respond to the changes quickly. A 10-year concession should generally be long enough for an operator to develop a large-scale project while a review and renewal every five years extends the government flexibility to make some changes if necessary.”

Macau authorities have mentioned a public retender under the concession system as the route for fresh rights after 2022.

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