Most of Macau’s satellite casinos will continue to operate

Macau's casino licences will be extended until December 31.
Macau's casino licences will be extended until December 31.

Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance, has said that only Rio Casino and President Casino have closed their doors so far.

Macau.- Contrary to what many expected, only two of Macau’s satellite casinos have ended their operations for now. It had been speculated that at least eight would close.

There are 16 satellite casinos operating under licences attached to one of Macau’s six casino concessionaires but run by third parties on individually owned premises. The two venues that have closed their doors are Rio Casino and President Casino, two satellite casinos run by Galaxy Entertainment Group.

The future of satellite casinos was uncertain when Macau’s new gambling law was first published. Many analysts, gaming labour groups and some legislators feared closures and an increase in unemployment as the law required any casinos operating in the city to be established on property owned by gaming operators.

However, the latest draft of Macau’s proposed new gambling legislation was changed to allow satellite casinos to continue operating even if the property on which they are located is not wholly-owned by the gambling franchisee.

Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and Finance, emphasized that one of the legislative goals is to properly monitor satellite casinos and promote the sustainable development of the industry.

As regards the two satellite casinos that closed their doors on June 16, Galaxy Entertainment Group said in a statement that the workers of both casinos will be transferred to other units of the concessionaire with the same employment conditions.

Most satellite casinos will now continue to operate until at least until the end of the year. The government of Macau has already announced that it will sign off on six-month extensions of the city’s casino concessions on June 23. 

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