Macau’s casino regulator has cancelled another face-to-face public consultation session, regarding the city’s draft of an amendment to Macau gaming law, that was scheduled to take place on Saturday (October 9), citing public safety concerns after the latest Covid-19 infections.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau had already called off another such meeting, that had been due for September 29, but the city’s government has said it will not extend the 45-day public consultation period, which began on September 15 and is due to run until October 29.
The bureau cited “development of Covid-19” in the city as the reason for cancelling those two public consultation sessions.
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, told local media on Friday that the government had no plan to extend the consultation process, but that members of the community could still submit their opinions in writing.
The first face-to-face consultation session was on September 20, but was for gaming industry representatives, rather than the general public.
At that session, several casino executives asked the city’s government to say more on its proposed new regulatory requirements for the sector; in particular the idea of raising the minimum share capital required for the gaming companies, and the idea that the portion of a gaming concession entity that must be held by a Macau permanent resident should be increased.
Further face-to-face consultation sessions for the general public are due to be held on October 13, and October 19, according to the schedule announced by the government last month.
Macau has, since September 25, reported a number of new Covid-19 cases, following a lull since the start of August. The city has been placed in what is called locally, “immediate pandemic prevention”. Four new Covid-19 positive cases were confirmed between Monday and Tuesday morning, resulting in the city’s aggregate of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, rising to 75, according to the local government.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters