Macau Extends Casino Concessions To End Of 2022

March 3, 2022
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Macau’s government will extend the duration of current casino concessions by at least six months, offering breathing space for operators amid a heavily delayed tender process.

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Macau’s government will extend the duration of current casino concessions by at least six months, offering breathing space for operators amid a heavily delayed tender process.

Secretary for economy and finance Lei Wai Nong told reporters on Thursday (March 3) that the June 26 expiry date for all casino concessions has been pushed back to December 31 this year.

“I have requested that the six gaming operators submit documents on extending their gaming concessions,” Lei said, following a Legislative Assembly committee hearing on draft amendments to Macau’s casino law.

“I am confident that the relevant processes for the extension will be completed before June 26,” he said.

Lei would not be drawn on when the tender would likely open, or if another extension to current concessions into 2023 would be necessary.

“New bidding for a gaming concession tender must conform with the legislative work and processes in amending the draft Macau Gaming Law before the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

Draft amendments submitted to the legislature in January had been watered down after industry and expert complaints of overreach into the daily operations of casino operators and excessive control of fiscal decision-making, including the issuing of dividends.

Now under discussion by a legislative committee, the amendments still retain a significant number of provisions that enhance monitoring of, and veto powers over, operator finances and staffing, as well as heavily restricting junket activity.

Even despite the largely rubber stamp nature of the legislature, lawmakers and industry observers have raised enough concern over some of the provisions to push back debate on the floor.

These concerns include financial obligations of Macau-based managers, strict alignment of property control and casino operations and a three-year grace period for the closure or absorption of “satellite casinos” not under de facto control of their concessionaires.

The latter, in particular, has unsettled some lawmakers, who have pressed the government on the fate of thousands of employees who might lose their jobs in what would be the most radical change in casino inventory in Macau’s history.

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