Adriano Marques Ho is to take office on June 10 as head of Macau’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known as DICJ. The news was given on Friday by the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, as quoted by several media outlets.
Mr Lei is the government official that oversees the city’s gaming industry. Earlier this week, his office had confirmed that Paulo Martins Chan was stepping down as director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The confirmation came after Macau News Agency reported that Mr Chan would be replaced by Mr Ho.
Mr Ho has been an advisor to the city’s Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak. Mr Chan will go back to working as a public prosecutor.
Secretary Lei told reporters on Friday that Mr Ho had “very good experience” related with oversight of the gaming sector. That was understood to be a reference to his spell in Macau’s Judiciary Police, where he headed the gaming-related and economic crimes investigation unit.
Mr Lei said the change in DICJ’s leadership would not adversely affect work concerning the ongoing revision of the city’s gaming law. He stated such work was being conducted at a higher level of the government, and that DICJ had a more operational role regarding regulating the city’s casino industry.
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng told the city’s Legislative Assembly in April that the local government was planning to launch in the second half of this year a public consultation over the review of Macau’s existing gaming law. Once the gaming framework law was revised, a fresh public tender process would be launched for Macau gaming rights. Such rights are currently held by six casino operators and expire in June 2022.
Prior to his time as head of DICJ, and while assistant public prosecutor-general, Mr Chan handled a corruption case involving now Secretary Lei. Macao’s Court of Second Instance exonerated Mr Lei in 2015 from any wrongdoing. The case involved the grant of 10 grave spaces in a public cemetery.
In his Friday comments, Secretary Lei denied Mr Chan’s departure from the gaming bureau could be seen as a retaliatory measure for his role in prosecuting the case. “Don’t overcomplicate,” he told reporters, adding that courts had already made a final decision on the matter.
Mr Lei added that Mr Chan had actually already asked the previous Secretary for Economy and Finance to let him return to public-prosecutor work . Mr Lei became Secretary in December last year, as part of a new administration led by incoming Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng.
Mr Adriano Ho is no relation of the city’s leader.
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