Macau draft gaming law revisions announced at press conference

Posted:: Sep 15, 2021 12:34 Category: Asia , Land-Based , Regulatory , Posted by
Jeremy Micallef

Macau’s gaming policy will be open for public feedback on proposed amendments including the elimination of sub-concessions, changed licencing terms, and enhanced government monitoring of gaming activities

During a press conference held on Tuesday, the first elements of the new gaming law were revealed. The proposed amendments will be subjected to a six-week public consultation procedure from 15 September to 29 October 2021.

Subconcessions are being phased out of the system, specifically the sub-concession operations of Galaxy Entertainment Group, SJM Holdings and Wynn Macau with Sands China, MGM Resorts and Melco Resorts respectively. Although Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance indicated casino tax income remains a significant priority, no more detail was offered on the new licencing structure or how many licences will be awarded.

“Gaming tax should be considered very cautiously as it is related to Macau’s financial income, economic development and social welfare,” he said.

“The government has no specific prerequisite on the number of gaming licenses although it needs to maintain a certain scale to ensure tax revenue,”

“But it (the number of gaming concessions) should not expand without limitation.”

Because Macau’s tourist sector is so dependent on tourism, Lei said there was no way internet gambling could be introduced in Macau.

According to the proposal, the existing 20-year expiration time for gaming incenses should be reconsidered, the minimum capital of gaming concessionaires should be increased, and the proportion of share capital owned by permanent Macau residents in gaming concessionaires should be increased.

There’s also a proposal for a state qualification test for employees of gaming concessionaires and affiliated firms to improve control of gaming operations. To further tighten the industry’s supervision, it has been recommended that government officials be placed in the gaming concessionaires to monitor operations directly.

The Government wants more corporate social responsibility activities in the future, including hiring local citizens, especially those with disabilities as well as donating to charity and investing in research and culture.

Lie explained that the new gaming legislation focuses on social responsibility, promoting the spread of non-gambling components and increasing government controls to ensure a healthy industry development, as well as matching legal consequences with punishments for non-compliance.

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