Macau’s secretary for economy and finance has said a public consultation on gaming law will be held in the second half of this year.
Macau.- Macau’s secretary for economy and finance has confirmed that a public consultation will go ahead in the second half of the year.
The announcement comes amid growing speculation that Macau will extend its current gaming concessions.
Last November, authorities said insisted that the public tender to renew casino licences would not be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that new legislation would be ready in time for when licences expire in 2022.
However, that will depend on the length of the public consultation and on the upcoming Legislative Assembly elections. Several industry experts believe the process will be delayed until after the elections so that new legislators will be in charge of amending Macau’s gaming law.
Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s Chief Executive, has said that the budget deficit caused by the Covid-19 pandemic should be fixed through diversifying the economy, and that this objective will form part of the consultation on gaming rights.
In April, experts on gaming law released a research paper proposing the city’s gaming licence criteria require “commitments relating to several non-core activities.”
The paper noted that Macau was “excessively dependent on tourism and gaming“. Analysts also suggest there should be a requirement for investment in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) to create an international world-class tourism destination that recognises the uniqueness of Macau’s cultural and social resources.