Macau’s gaming law consultation sessions to continue as scheduled

The first session of a public consultation on gaming laws was postponed.
The first session of a public consultation on gaming laws was postponed.

Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance, has said that the first session being cancelled, the consultation will run until October 29 as was planned.

Macau.- Macau’s public consultation on gaming laws will run until October 29 despite the cancellation of the first session due to Covid-19 cases in the city. Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance, has said the schedule will continue for the planned 45 days.

He said specialists would follow advice from the Health Bureau but guaranteed the pandemic would not affect the projected gaming law amendment timetable. According to local media reports, authorities in Macau want to end the current sub-concession system that led to the creation of three additional Macau casino licences.

The government also wants to increase the oversight of gaming concessionaires and junket operations, but it will maintain at least six gaming concessions. Representatives from Macau’s casino operators have attended a public consultation session with authorities and asked for more information on the government’s proposed changes.

SJM Holdings Ltd, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd expressed concerns about the idea of raising the minimum share capital required for the gaming companies. Casino operators also said the government should give more details on the proposal that gaming concessionaires be part held by a Macau resident.

After the gaming law revision is finished, there will be 180 days to write the final report, after which a draft will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for additional conversation. 

Macau’s current casino licences are due to expire in June 2022. However, under the current city’s gaming laws, Macau’s gaming concessions can be extended for up to five years from the original 20-year term. 

Lei Wai Nong also confirmed the city will have to revise its budget as he expects casino gross gaming revenue will fail to recover.

“The cases in August and September will of course impact our gaming tax revenue. We will revise the budget again by the end of the year.”

Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance.

According to Nong, gaming tax is currently 80 per cent of government income and Macau only have one industry the employs most of the workforce. 

Morgan Stanley has predicted Macau’s GGR will reach MOP96.77bn (US$12bn) in 2021, 33 per cent of that seen in 2019. That figure would still be up 60 per cent when compared to the MOP60.44bn achieved in 2020, which bore the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.

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