Some members of Macau’s Legislative Assembly have requested the government to clarify a clause in the gaming law amendment bill concerning what would constitute endangerment to national security. The bill states that the Macau government has the right to terminate a concessionaire’s contract for reasons including threats to national security, public interest, or breaching of its contractual obligations.
The information was disclosed to reporters on Thursday by Chan Chak Mo, president of a Legislative Assembly committee that is tasked with examining the bill. The committee has, since Monday, met for four consecutive days to discuss the content of the document.
The committee members would ask the Macau government to explain what would be the standards for deciding that a gaming concessionaire poses a threat to national or the city’s security, Mr Chan said, following a closed-door meeting of the committee.
The Macau government is currently drafting a bill to revise the Law on Safeguarding National Security. The city’s Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, said in January that the authorities hoped to complete the process within this year.
Other doubts raised by legislators include the “rationale” and the “applicability” of an article in the draft law that envisages a mechanism to dissolve an existing gaming concession in the event it were not granted a new licence after the current six concessions expire, said Mr Chan. Such article is legally problematic, several experts on Macau gaming law have suggested to GGRAsia.
Mr Chan said the committee would now compile a list of questions within the coming week to be submitted to the government. The questions are expected to be answered by government representatives in subsequent committee meetings.
The Macau government hoped to see the assembly finish the deliberation of the draft law and approve it before the expiry date of the city’s six concessionaires, Mr Chan said. The expiry date of the six gaming concessions falls on June 26, 2022.
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