New details emerge about future of satellite casinos

Doubts about the future of satellite casinos continue to emerge.
Doubts about the future of satellite casinos continue to emerge.

Casino operators who previously decided to close satellite casinos will not be allowed to reopen them, according to Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance.

Macau.- As casino operators continue to ponder what to do with satellite casinos under Macau’s new gambling law, Lei Wai Non, Macau’s secretary for economy and finance, has warned that if a franchisee decides to close a satellite casino, it is unlikely that it will be able to reopen it later.

Analysts, gaming labour groups and some legislators have expressed concern about the future of satellite casinos and a possible increase in unemployment if they close. The latest draft of Macau’s proposed new gambling legislation has been 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.

There are currently 18 satellite casinos in Macau operating under licences attached to one of the six casino concessionaires but run by third parties on individually owned premises.

See also: Macau: Golden Dragon Group to close its four satellite casinos

According to Lei Wai Nong, the draft law states that if the casino operator behind an existing satellite venue decides to close its gaming business for legal reasons or due to the concession agreement requirement, it will not be able to reopen it at the same location. However, the draft bill does not clarify what happens if another concessionaire wants to reopen a closed satellite casino.

Legislator Ella Lei Cheng I has recently called on the government to ensure employees keep their jobs in the transition to new legislation. A few days ago, SJM Holdings’ executive director Angela Leong On Kei said the casino operator would take care of employees who may be affected by the closure of satellite casinos linked to the company.

Second Macau committee finishes reading of gaming law amendment bill

The Legislative Council’s second standing committee has completed its reading of Macau’s proposed new general gambling lawThe bill is expected to be signed and sent to the plenary for a vote on June 10.

Under the final draft law, management company shareholders can receive rental income and management company affiliate fees and commissions if they also hold an intermediary licence.

Authorities are also working on a bill that proposes changes to the legal framework concerning junket operations. In the first reading, 30 MPs voted in favour while one voted against the bill. It was then sent to one of three parliamentary working committees for detailed consideration.  

In this article:
Macau casinos