Macau VIP gaming promoter bill passes first reading

30 legislators voted in favour at the bill's first reading.
30 legislators voted in favour at the bill's first reading.

The bill on junket businesses and satellite casinos will now be assigned to one of three working committees for detailed examination.

Macau.- Macau’s Legislative Assembly has today (April 20) approved the first reading of the new bill on junket businesses and satellite casinos. In the first reading, 30 MPs voted in favour while one voted against the bill.

Some of the legislators who spoke at the debate questioned the viability of satellite casinos continuing to operate under the proposed framework. They raised concerns that local employment could be affected as a result.

There are currently 18 satellite casinos in Macau operating under licences attached to one of the six casino concessionaires but run by third parties in individually owned premises. Some 14 of those satellite casinos are operating under the licence of SJM Holdings Ltd, and the other four are tied to Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.

According to a press release from the executive committee, the bill aims to improve oversight of the industry. It would allow junket operators to each work with only one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies.

The bill will now be sent to one of three parliamentary working committees for detailed consideration. The responsible committee may propose amendments. The bill will then be sent back to the General Assembly for its final reading.

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