Macau’s Legislative Assembly is expected to give a final reading to the gaming law amendment bill by June before the current casino concessions expire.
Macau.- It’s been reported that the final draft of Macau’s gaming law amendment bill may be submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL) for discussion and a vote before the current casino concessions expire on June 26. Macau’s Legislative Council approved the first reading of the gaming law amendment bill last month with just one vote against it. The bill was sent to the committee-level evaluation.
It’s generally expected that Macau’s six gaming concessions, belonging to Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, SJM Holdings, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Resorts, will be extended to give time for a new tender to be run following the final approval of the bill.
Legislator Chan Chak Mo, the head of an assembly sub-committee tasked with examining the bill, told the press after the sub-committee’s first meeting to review the bill that the government might be able to start documentation required for the gaming-concession retender process on a concurrent basis.
Chan said the committee’s discussion focused on the bill’s proposed articles on the suitability requirements for the managing director of a gaming concession and on the government-proposed recognition of a management company that would be responsible for managing all or part of a casino of a gaming concessionaire.
The government has suggested the final bill must increase the minimum share capital requirement for any local casino concessionaire to MOP5bn (US$625m) from the existing MOP200m threshold.
Chan told the press that some committee members have asked the government to clarify later how many satellite casinos will be able to operate legally after the amendment is enforced. The sub-committee discussion will continue through the week.
Macau’s gaming law amendment bill
The amendment bill sets out a gaming concession period of up to 10 years that 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.
The bill proposes that casino operators in Macau be given minimum annual casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) targets, which would be calculated based on the maximum number of gaming tables and gaming machines each gaming concessionaire is permitted to operate. The bill would allow junket operators to each provide services to only one casino operator.