Committee chairman Chan Chak Mo has revealed that the Legislative Council’s second standing committee is expected to sign its final draft on June 15.
Macau.- Macau’s proposed new general gambling law is coming close to a final vote. It was expected that the bill would be signed and sent to the plenary for a vote on June 10 after the Legislative Council’s second standing committee has completed its reading However, government legal advisors have made some last-minute changes to the draft.
Legislator Chan Chak Mo has now revealed that the second standing committee will sign its final draft on June 15. After that, the Legislative Assembly will hold a plenary meeting, likely on June 21, to vote on the changes.
One of the most important changes involves the shareholder participation at which point shareholders may not hold interests in another concessionaire.
Chan Chak Mo said: “Concessionaires, as well as shareholders with an amount equal to or greater than five per cent, may not directly own any capital of another concessionaire…
“That is, they cannot hold even one per cent directly, while indirectly they cannot hold a stake greater than five per cent. With this change, the Government can prevent collusion among concessionaires to strengthen their competitiveness.”
Another change involves the listing of gaming concessionaires on foreign stock exchanges. A previous draft had allowed this on the authorisation of the chief executive. The new draft prohibits a franchisee from listing directly, but still allows its parent company to go public.
According to Chan, several other areas will be further defined via chief executive administrative regulations, including areas such as the concessionaire’s social responsibility or shareholder suitability.
Authorities are also working on a bill that proposes changes to the legal framework for 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.